By Sherna Foucher…
“SNN and Camp JPAC give children with Autism and other developmental disabilities and their families hope for a brighter future. I am inspired and honored to be involved.”
Our Pink Pump Affair cover model, Stephanie Nogueras, is a talented actress, model, and activist who is profoundly Deaf. Fluent in American Sign Language, Stephanie’s remarkable story embodies persistence and courage. Currently, Stephanie appears on ABC Family’s hit show, “Switched at Birth.” With no formal acting training, she won this recurring co-star role only six months after relocating from New Jersey. Several months later she landed a guest star role as “Elly” on NBC’s Grimm.
Deaf and petite, (double challenges in the fashion and modeling world) modeling preceded her acting career. Notwithstanding rejection and obstacles, Stephanie persevered and landed magazine covers and runway modeling stints. After relocating to Los Angeles, Stephanie discovered Deafinit Models (“Deafnit”), an agency that exclusively represents the deaf and hard of hearing and represents all the models participating in SNN’s Pink Pump Affair 2014. Deafinit sent Stephanie on her successful audition for “Switched at Birth;” accordingly, she gives special thanks to Sheree Deveraux, Deafinit’s Founder and Executive Director. Stephanie is confident that acting opportunities will continue to increase since “the success of Switched at Birth has helped to dispel misconceptions about Deaf actors and our capabilities…” Stephanie is delighted that she has been an inspiration for the “Deaf and Hearing alike to overcome challenges and fight with limitless faith to achieve their dreams and goals …”
“As a deaf model, I live for making a difference and with Camp JPAC I am impacting many lives as we reach heaven together.”
Known for both her reserved off-stage manner and her enthusiastic confidence during her performances, Dejonae (“DJ”) Jenkins is a “Hard of Hearing” member of the Deaf community. Bullied and humiliated in mainstream elementary and high school, Dejonae withdrew from the deaf community and use sign language in an effort to escape bullying. Dejonae’s mother counseled her to seek God and face her fears. DJ returned to the deaf community and began to love herself fully. She forgave, overcame, and let go of her fear of being bullied. After joining Deafinit, she pursued lifelong dreams of modeling, acting and dancing. Dejonae’s photoshoots include Banana Republic; appearances in magazine features, as well as, modeling in fashion shows. She regularly performs and is the only deaf member of the Khaotic Dance Krew. She landed her first acting role in an episode of “Switched at Birth.” She was cast in the lead role of ‘Andrea’ in the short film “Dark Thinker.” Justifiably proud of her accomplishments, Dejonae has added anti-bullying advocacy to her plate after sharing her deeply personal story about childhood bullying at SNN’s #iStand4Peace Anti-Bullying Summit in April.
“I am truly honored and privileged to be modeling in the Pink Pump Affair and helping to raise funds for such a worthy cause as Camp JPAC—I wish I could go! …”
Karla Gutierrez’s early, significant success demonstrates that there are no limitations on her possibilities. This 21-year-old deaf actress, model, and dancer was her high school’s first Deaf Homecoming Princess and first Deaf actress in its Drama department. Karla’s accomplishments were a source of great pride in the Deaf community. Karla has appeared in ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” and was one of the leads in a Deaf West Stage Productions of “Flowers for Algernon” and “Spring Awakenings.” One reviewer noted, “Karla Gutierrez is quite lovely in her four parts. Hopefully, audiences will get to see her front and center stage sometime soon” ~ Hollywood Progressive. Karla supports SNN and the Pink Pump Affair as “… a tremendous opportunity to serve and make a difference”.
Nyeisha (“Nyke”) Prince
“I am honored to be part of the Pink Pump Affair… it is extremely important to be aware of all special needs individuals and communities…”
Nyke’s early hearing loss has not kept her from living life to the fullest as a model, actress, dancer, stylist, songwriter and up and coming drummer. Songwriting and touring with bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age, Nyke chose to follow her passion to become a rock and roll drummer taking drum lessons with Gil Sharone from Stolen Babies. Her pop-rock performances at small live venues have been compared to Lady Gaga meets Motley Crue. A featured model in celebrity stylist Ken Paves’ book, You Are Beautiful: A Beauty Guide for Real Women, she also writes her own eponymous blog, Nyke Prince’s World. Nyke successfully represented the United States in 2013 Miss & Mr. Deaf International in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as, appearing in music videos, fashion shows, and film.