1. Kelli Lee
Ms. Lee’s disability is cerebral palsy, and she is from San Jose, California. She graduated with an Associate’s degree from Foothill Community College in June of 2012, and then transferred to San Jose State University where she is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems. At San Jose State, she is an active member in Aiesec and the Management Information Systems Association. When she is not studying, she actively volunteers in thedisability community with the California Youth Leadership Forum for Disabilities. While there, she learned about the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) internship program from a fellow participant whom recommended she apply. Kelli’s motto is:
“I am disabled and proud! Looking forward to the program and advocating for the rights of the disabled!”
2. Emily Ladau
Ms. Ladau has had unique life experiences as a person with a physical disability which have led her to seek a career as an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. She was born and raised on Long Island, New York. As a May 2013 graduate from Adelphi University with a B.A. in English, she applied for the AAPD Summer Internship Program because she knew it would provide her with a valuable opportunity to utilize her communication skills, writing skills, and passion to help others as an advocate for people with disabilities.
3. Laura Nunez
Ms. Nunez is currently in her second year of college at Pierce Community College. It is her goal to transfer to either the University of California Berkeley or Los Angeles in the fall of 2014. She applied for this internship to get a firsthand feel for the legislative process and expose herself to policy making. After this internship, she hopes to have a more clear understanding of the fields she may want to pursue upon graduation.
4. Kristin Duquette
Ms. Duquette is a 22 year-old human rights major attending Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Kristin’s uniqueness lies in the disability she has - Muscular Dystrophy. With perseverance and determination, Kristin became a world class swimming athlete, represented the United States at international meets in Bogota and Colombia, served as U.S. Swim Team Captain in 2010 at the Greek Open, and is an American Paralympic swimming record holder. Kristin is also a Goldman Sachs Scholar, motivational speaker to high schools and colleges such as Northeastern University, and a member of the Women and Gender Action Resource Center on Trinity’s campus. Her recent internship for Connecticut’s Senate Majority Leader enabled her to interact with CT’s Governor and Lt. Governor. In addition, Kristen’s work with the Hospital for Special Care has enabled Kristin to counsel, instruct, and mentor children with disabilities. In addition, Kristin founded A Day in a Wheelchair Project at Trinity College, promoted disability rights as a human right, and then attended the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative University. She applied to the American Association of People with Disabilities Summer Internship Program because of her passion about disability rights. Kristin’s experience as an on Capitol Hill will help Kristin pursue disability rights as human right.
5. Nathan Cunningham
Mr. Cunningham recently graduated from the University of Virginia after completing his bachelor's degree concentrating in History, English Literature, and African Studies. Outside the classroom, his favorite activities include skiing, swimming, and playing piano. He applied to the AAPD summer internship program based on a mentor's recommendation and an interest in meeting other university students who are equally enthusiastic about sharing their ambitions and perspectives on living with a disability. These two components might often seem at odds to many people, but he is personally motivated toward erasing the stigma against disability and excited for AAPD to allow him to meet others who share his goal.
6. Jennifer Choi
Ms. Choi currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. She recently graduated with her master's degree in counseling at California State University, Bakersfield. During her master’s program, she worked with deaf and hard of hearing students as an Outreach Specialist. She applied for the AAPD Summer Internship Program because this opportunity gives her the chance to network and gain experience in the disability area.
7. Lydia Brown
Ms. Brown is originally from Boston Massachusetts. She is a sophomore at Georgetown University, where she is double majoring in Arabic and Psychology. She is Autistic and multiply-disabled, and she chose to apply to the AAPD program so that she could deepen her connections within the disability community, form new connections with other disabled students, and gain work experience in a new area. She blogs about disability issues on her website Autistic Hoya, and has been active in disability rights advocacy on her campus and with other organizations. Outside of disability, she enjoys writing novels, roleplaying, and eating inordinate amounts of pasta.
8. Alexander Van Hook
Mr. Van Hook is a sophomore majoring in Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is currently serving as the 2012-2013 College of Liberal Arts senator in RIT Student Government and the 2012-2013 chairperson of the College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board. He has earned a 4.0 GPA throughout his first five quarter terms at RIT. He is from Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is deaf and a power wheelchair user due to Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. He applied to the internship program with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) because he has strong passion for leadership and helping to improve the community. His career goal and dream is to be a politician in Washington, DC. He is also eager to meet other interns with similar goals to share in learning more about the political world, community activism, and advocacy efforts and to learn from people who work day-to-day in the government setting of Washington, DC.
9. Maddy Ruvolo
Maddy Ruvolo is from Silver Spring, MD and attends Scripps College in Claremont, CA where she majors in American Studies and minors in Media Studies. At Scripps, Maddy works at the Writing Center and is the president/co-founder of the Disability, Illness, and Difference Alliance (DIDA), a campus organization for disabled students and their allies. Given her passion for disability justice, Maddy is tremendously excited to be in the AAPD internship program and intends to pursue a career in disability advocacy after graduating from college.
10. Zach Woolley
Mr. Woolley graduated from Mississippi State University in December 2013 with a double major in political science and philosophy. He was an honors student and was tapped into Omicron Delta Kappa. He served on the Dean’s Council and was President of United Student. Growing up, he was theme child for United Cerebral Palsy, was Children’s Hospital of Alabama’s Hero for the Miracle Network, and was named Youth Philanthropist for Birmingham region. All of these experiences gave him the opportunity to become involved with local, state, and national media; take several national trips; and visit the White House as a guest. He has been very involved with the U.S. Paralympic effort playing bocce and at one time was ranked 3rd nationally.
12. Rose Sloan
Ms. Sloan is a recent graduate from Northwestern University where she received her Bachelor's degree in Social Policy. She was born and raised in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Rose applied for the AAPD summer internship because she wants to help show the world that people with disabilities are just as qualified to hold important positions as people without disabilities. Rose hopes to influence federal legislation by becoming a researcher or a lobbyist for education policy. She just completed her senior honors thesis: Labeled as Disabled? The Effect of No Child Left Behind on Students with Disabilities Rates.
13. Megan Buckles
Ms. Buckles is from Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2013 where she studied Political Science and Leadership. She applied to the AAPD Summer Internship Program because she thought it would be a great learning experience, a wonderful opportunity to network, and a chance to grow personally and professionally. She is looking forward to this exciting new challenge!
14. Megan Marshall
Ms. Marshall is a Michigan native who recently graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. She is excited to have graduated as one of “The Leaders and Best” in May 2013. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she has left behind a solid foundation of knowledge and experience in disability advocacy which is represented by her vast leadership involvement and activities on behalf of the University’s disabled students. She solidified her belief that a career dedicated to helping those with disabilities is the path she is meant to travel, Megan is happy to start her journey with the AAPD Summer Internship Program. With a personal motto of “my weaknesses are my strengths.” Megan hopes to one day have the opportunity to ensure future generations with disabilities have the confidence to say the same about themselves.
15. Ross O. Kloeber IV
Mr. Kloeber IV is from Phoenix, AZ. He attended Brophy College Preparatory. He is currently a student, beginning his senior year, at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with minors in Legal Studies and Political Science. He decided to apply to the AAPD Summer Internship Program for a number of reasons. First, he hopes to attend law school and feels that this program can help him achieve this. Second, as a person with a disability, he recognizes the difficulties disabled individuals face in a world not always built to accommodate. This program will assist him on the path to make a difference in this world. Lastly, he hopes to broaden his worldview and establish relationships with a diverse but like-minded group of people.
16. Lili Siegel
Ms. Siegel is from Ardsley, NY. A government major at Smith College, she has an interest in education policy as well as policy affecting children and families more broadly. In pursuing that interest, she hopes to attend law school after college. In an effort to connect to the disabled community and learn about its history, Lili interned last summer at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) in Berkeley, CA where she assisted with outreach in support of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and also assisted in the Parent Training and Information Center. During her time at Smith, Lili has been active with the Student Government Association where she serves as both a dorm senator and a member of the Social Justice and Equity Committee. She is particularly enthusiastic about ensuring that disability gets included in the broader conversations about social justice that occur on campus.
17. Jasmin Bailey
Ms. Bailey was raised by in grandmother in the Richmond, Virginia area. After graduating from Franklin Military Academy High School, she attended Mary Baldwin College for her undergraduate studies and participated in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership. During her senior year of college, she began to lose her vision and, due to its progression, she lost her commission in the US Army. Two years after graduating college, she came across the AAPD internship and decided to apply. She was inspired by the program’s testimonies from previous interns and the organizations that sponsored them. The AAPD program will hopefully give her insight on how people with disabilities overcome challenges in the workplace while providing her the confidence needed to succeed. She is eager to use her past leadership experience and implement those skills within the public sector.
18. Jennifer Louise Lee
Ms. Lee is in her third year student at Brandeis University and is pursuing a double major in Health, Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) and American Studies (AMST). Beyond academics, she is the President of the Women of Color Alliance and a Member of The Student Sexuality Information Service. She hopes to establish a program that is devoted to educating students with disabilities about sexual health. This summer, she will be leaving her hometown of Springfield, MA and will be entering a new chapter in her life while in Washington, D.C. This summer will serve as a learning experience, and she is certain she will not only learn a lot about herself, but a lot about the instruments needed to accomplish her ultimate career goals. There is no doubt in her mind that this experience will be one of the most memorable experiences of her young adult life. As a young woman with a disability and an advocate for disability rights, she is honored and undoubtedly appreciative for the opportunity to learn, grow and serve.
19. Micah Fialka-Feldman
Mr. Feldman’s story is one of building community and opening doors for himself and others. When denied access to living in the dorm, he worked with Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc to confront the discrimination against him and other students. In December 2009, in an historic ruling, the federal court ruled that Micah could live in the dorm—a victory heard across the nation. After he completed his program at the university and enjoyed a wonderful semester living in the dorm, Micah continued his work as a social justice educator and national speaker. In 2012, with the support of his circle, he moved from his home in Michigan to Syracuse University to work as a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Education and as a mentor with the University Peer to Peer Program. Through Micah’s “speaking up and speaking out” others are finding their voice, and their own passion to open doors for full inclusion! To learn more about Micah, visit www.throughthesamedoor.com Micah applied for the AAPD internship because he wanted to learn how to help with laws and policies concerning people with disabilities.
20. D'Arcee Charington Neal
Mr. Neal is a recent DC transplant from North Carolina, living with Cerebal Palsy. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina Pembroke, and recently finished his Masters of Arts degree in Creative Writing from Roehampton University in London, England. No stranger to international travel, after studying abroad in Stuttgart, Germany working with the university's Disability Service Office, he was sent to Costa Rica back in 2009 with Mobility International USA, an organization that works with people with disabilities sending them around the world to learn about other cultures, and there he got his first taste of working in the disability community. After he finished school, he returned to America, where he worked in a Center of Independent Living in Raleigh, and discovered his passion for working with and helping others with disabilities and it led him to apply for AAPD's internship program, where he is thrilled and honored to have been accepted.
21. Alexander Thompson
Mr. Thompson is originally from Warwick, N.Y. and a recent graduate of St. John's University School of Law. He graduated in 2009 from Bucknell University with a B.A in Sociology. He applied to the AAPD Summer Internship Program because it is an important program to him to meet other people who will be leaders in the disability community. Furthermore, it means being involved in demonstrating to others that people with disabilities are valuable contributors to any organization and is a way to develop skills for future employment.
22. Edmund Asiedu
Mr. Asiedu is originally from Ghana in West Africa. He is currently a student at the City University of New York – Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. He applied for the AAPD Summer Internship Program because it will give him the opportunity to learn about public policy formulation and advocacy as it pertains to promoting the interest of people with disabilities in the United States and the world at large. The internship will help him work better in the near future as a human rights advocate.
23. Brianna Gross
Brianna Gross grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Trinity College this past May. She majored in English with a concentration in creative writing and double minored in Human Rights and Philosophy. Brianna plans to pursue a career in disability rights activism and applied to the AAPD summer internship to learn more about the field and meet other activists with similar aspirations and goals.
24. Andrew Kletzien
Andrew Kletzien is from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and is a sophomore double-major in Political Science and Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). He attended Marquette University High School in 2011 and is planning on graduating from LUC in 2015. As the founder and President of his school’s first Secular Student Alliance, he has seen the group grow from a small cluster of atheists, agnostics, and skeptics to a 95 member organization with students of many backgrounds, faiths, and unbelief. He applied for the AAPD internship because he has always felt an affinity with community service members and political activists who advocate for causes such as these, and this internship will serve as the next step in his academic and political career. As an undergraduate research presenter at the 2013 Midwest Regional American Academy of Religion Conference and the 2013 “Weekend of Excellence” Loyola Undergraduate Research & Engagement Symposium, he has come to appreciate the opportunities he has been given to share his commitment to social justice and other social or political issues to which he feels a degree of allegiance and devotion. For this reason, he is thrilled to be participating in the AAPD Summer Internship Program and trusts that it will be a constructive and rewarding experience.
25. Rosie McDonnell-Horita
Rosie McDonnell-Horita is a 19 year old sophomore attending Mira Costa College in California studying Sociology. She has recently become familiar with the disability community and has been an active advocate since September 2010. Her long term goal is to become an attorney while staying actively involved in the disability community. She is currently involved with YO! Disabled and Proud as a member, working on two campaigns, and is a Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities 2010 Alumni. Rosie applied to AAPD in hopes of gaining more experiences in the disability community. As a transfer student, she hopes to use this experience for future endeavors for her career. She plans to stay in California and continue advocating for the disability community and helping people that she meets along the way.
26. Grace Kurlychek
Grace Kurlychek is from Eugene, Oregon, and she attends the University of Oregon. I applied for the AAPD summer internship because she is interested in disability rights. She wanted to learn about key components of the disability rights movement and felt that AAPD would be able to facilitate that.
27. Mary Karin Hitselberger
Mary Karin Hitselberger is originally from West Windsor, New Jersey, and is currently a Communication Studies and Religious Studies double major at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She will graduate with my degree in December of 2013. She has cerebral palsy and uses a power wheelchair. She applied for the AAPD summer internship because she is very passionate about disability rights and disability politics. She thought the internship would be a good opportunity to utilize those passions in the workplace. She also thought the experience would heighten her leadership, career and professional skills.
28. Eric Harris
Eric Harris is from Sacramento, California. She is currently a second year law student at the University of Oregon School of Law. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Africana Studies in May of 2010. He applied for the AAPD Summer Internship of 2013 because as an individual with a disability, he wants to continue to grow and develop while helping as many people as he can. He enjoys government and public policy. He has had two previous internships in Washington, D.C. He interned at the Office of United States Representative Barbara Lee (CA-9) in 2010 and with the Democratic National Committee in the summer of 2012. He also worked for Disability Power & Pride, a disability rights website, which helps inform the disability community about United States politics. He hopes to continue to learn and work toward helping others, particularly those in the disability community.
29. Meredith Raymond
Meredith Raymond is from Boca Raton, Florida and graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida. Throughout her four years in college, Meredith has been very involved on campus and has served the University in many different capacities. She has served as the Student Government Disability Affairs Director, Student Government Leadership Division Chairwoman, and as an official University of Florida student ambassador. Due to her involvement and academic achievement, she was selected as a J. Wayne Reitz Undergraduate Scholar and was recently inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame, which is the highest recognition given to students. She currently works part-time at the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida. Post graduation, Meredith plans to follow her passion and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities in the legal and/or higher education. She looks forward to the insight that the AAPD internship will bring her regarding these career fields.
32. Angel Love Miles
Angel Love Miles was born and raised in a low income, predominantly African American neighborhood in Germantown Philadelphia, where she grew up attending schools and camps for children with disabilities. Influenced by her upbringing, she soon developed a positive black and disability identity, which she decided to explore further as an English major attending Penn State University. Following her college graduation in 2003, she was accepted into the Women’s Studies PhD program at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she further pursued her interests in identity, inequality, and their relationship to race, class, gender and disability. In 2007 Angel earned her MA in Women’s Studies and is currently completing the requirements towards her doctorate at the University of Maryland. Angel’s dissertation is tentatively titled “Barriers and Facilitators to Homeownership for African American Women with Physical Disabilities”. She plans to continue to devote her life to social justice as a disabled woman of color activist and scholar and believes that the American Association of People with Disabilities Internship will help her reach that goal by enhancing her knowledge of disability policy and improving her leadership skills.
- Disability Equality Index(SM) Advisory Committee Announced
AAPD Press Team | 06/05/2013