PROFILE OF THE MONTH
By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine
Miranda Deebrah is a seeker whose journeys have taken her to different worlds. She is at a stage in her life where her accumulated experiences have placed her in a unique position to help others, and bring positive change to her community. In June 2019, she co-wrote, directed and starred in ‘Yoni ki Raat’ (YKR), an off-shoot Broadway play, that focused on gender oppression and sexual violence in the Indo-Caribbean community. It was well received by the critics.
Miranda comes from a distinguished family that has taught her the virtues of selfless service and she spends her time helping to create change. Miranda was born in Guyana and grew up in Success Village. Her dad is Pastor Peter Deebrah and her mom is June. Her younger sisters are Melinda and Leann. Miranda attended St. Margaret’s Primary School up to Prep ‘B.’ Her best subjects were English and teachers, Miss George and Mrs. Rampersaud, were particularly helpful.
Peter was a Deacon for the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Guyana. In August 1998, Miranda and her family moved to New York. They resided at Aunt Viela’s residence, in the Bronx. Miranda went to PS 16, and then the family moved to Manhattan, where Peter became a Vicar in the Lutheran Church. Miranda attended St. Matthew’s Lutheran School, where she continued to excel in the arts and humanities. She graduated as the valedictorian. Miss Cross stood out as a great teacher. Miranda articulated to Mother Cabrini High School in Washington Heights, where she continued to do well. She was involved in a number of school activities that prepared her to be a leader. She sang in the choir, worked on the literary magazine, and was part of the military drum corps, that instilled discipline in her. Miranda was the valedictorian in high school as well.
It was now time for college and Miranda was accepted, on a full scholarship, to Fairfield University, in Connecticut. She began studies there in 2008. Miranda found this to be challenging. But she came out with flying colors. She majored in English Literature and Journalism and she had her eyes set on television. But she branched out into acting, writing, and storytelling. Miranda’s interests took her to the prestigious Blackfriars Hall, in Oxford, England. She was to spend a year there and it proved to be unforgettable.
Oxford was a diverse city, and it expanded her world. She did courses in English
Literature and Philosophy. She felt that the British system of education gave the student individual attention and led to all-round learning.
Miranda graduated from Fairfield in 2012 and went into the world of theater. She interned at the Drama League of New York, a theater company, and also found time to perform in her community. At the Queens Book Fair, Miranda mesmerized the audience with a performance that depicted life in the diaspora. As Miranda continued to grow in the theater, she was always mindful of her roots, that little girl from Guyana that blazed the trail. Her grandmother would tell her to ‘never forget where you come from’ and Miranda took this to her heart. The world of work at the Lutheran Social Services of New York, from 2014 to 2018, brought her into contact with a diverse population, and their issues. This strengthened her resolve to want to help others, as a career. It became clear that social work was a path that she would want to pursue.
Miranda worked her way up at the Lutheran Social Services was able to get a good appreciation of the functioning of the organization. A stint at the foster care and children’s services, opened her eyes to the urgent need for professionalism. She enrolled at Columbia University, School of Social Work, to read for her Master’s Degree that she completed in May 2020. She focused on Mental Health.
Miranda likes to read, enjoys trapeze flying, and watch old Bollywood movies. She is currently learning Hindi to connect with her ancestors.
Miranda is inspired by her parents, Pastor Deebrah and June Deebrah. Her grandmothers Delomi and Lylee, and her college mentor at Fairfield University, Patricia Brennan, planted the seeds that would lead her into a career of social work and public service. We are proud of Miranda. She has done well. She cares, shows compassion, and wants to make the world a better place. We wish Miranda and her family all the best in the future.