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“#DeafSuccess: Justin Folk” video

DESCRIPTION:

A young man in a white business shirt is sitting in an office environment. He is using American Sign Language.

JUSTIN:

Growing up in my family, my parents were on my side all the way through school. When I was down, my mom and dad would encourage me that I could get through it. To look at the big picture and keep going.

DESCRIPTION:

The man sits at a meeting table with three other people. A woman is signing to him. The man smiles.

Text: Justin Folk, Business Manager.

JUSTIN:

My grandfather started the business with his primary focus on the Black community. Most Black

people didn’t trust the big banks. They also didn’t trust the government as a whole. Most Black people had their savings hidden away under their pillow.

When Black folks found out my grandfather was an accountant, and that his firm was a Black-to- Black business, they were lining up to see him! His work helped people see that it was okay to pay their taxes and to do things like put savings in the bank. We would help get their finances in order.

Then there is the Deaf community. Most Deaf people come to me very confused. I’ve noticed the trend. They don’t feel confident in their communications with previous accountants. They didn’t have access to the information they were looking for. They often came to me, a pile of documents in a mess, not knowing what to do with it. I would work through it with them, getting everything in order. At the end of the day, they would say, “This is what I’ve been looking for.”

DESCRIPTION:

Justin sits at his desk. Two framed degrees are on the wall behind him. Back in the meeting room, a man signs to Justin.

JUSTIN:

A few years ago, we started another division focusing on Black athletes. We had begun noticing

many Black athletes would end up completely broke. When we looked at the reasons, statistically, athletes came from the streets, from poor families. They grew up without money, so the concept of saving money was foreign to them. I saw so much potential in that area, I decided to go back to school to pursue a master’s degree. I earned my MBA in sports management.

Set lofty goals for yourself. Aim high, then run after the goal, breaking down whatever barrier is

ahead of you until you make it!

DESCRIPTION:

Justin is at his desk working on a computer. Text: #DeafSuccess.

The National Deaf Center logo. Text: NationalDeafCenter.org

This video was developed under a jointly-funded grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) #H326D160001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the federal government. Logos for Ideas That Work: U.S. Office of Special Education Programs, TA&D Network, and the United States of America Department of Education.

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