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AAPD and NBCUniversal Announce 2022 Recipients of the Tony Coelho Media Scholarship 

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Press Release

Contact: Jess Davidson, jdavidson@aapd.com

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud to announce the eight recipients of the 2022 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship. With generous support from NBCUniversal, the Tony Coelho Media Scholarship was named for a former United States Representative and the primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The scholarship is provided to undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who are interested in increasing disability representation in their future careers in the communications, media, or entertainment industries.

“Accurate representation is brought to our screens through the authentic lived experiences of those in front of and behind the camera,” said Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal. “We’re grateful for our continued partnership with AAPD supporting the Tony Coelho Media Scholarship, and working across our businesses to advocate for disability representation.”

“The personal and professional backgrounds of this year’s scholarship recipients demonstrate the true diversity of both the disability community and the communications, media, and entertainment industry. Whether they’re writing books, putting out impactful stories as journalists, or writing and producing their own films, they understand the vital role that their work and voices play in shaping society’s understanding of disability. I am grateful for the work these recipients have done and will do, and for the commitment they show to advancing nuanced and equity-centered disability media. AAPD is continually grateful to NBCUniversal for their ongoing partnership and support of these talented students who will enhance disability representation in their fields,” said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD.

Award recipients received $5,625 each to help cover the cost of education at their current college or university. Each recipient of the 2022 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship was awarded for their demonstrated knowledge and passion in their field of media industries. The recipients also were selected based on not only their commitment and contribution to disability representation in the media but their future aspirations to meaningfully include and engage the disability community in their career.During the 2022-2023 school year, NBCUniversal and AAPD will collaborate to provide several opportunities to support the recipient’s growth in their academic pursuits and their career development.

Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the 2022 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship!

Izabelle Azevedo (she/her), Towson University

Victoria Erdel Garcia (she/her), Purdue University

Rachel Handlin (she/her), Pratt Institute

N’Jhari Jackson (he/him), University of Florida

Julia Métraux (she/her), University of California, Berkeley

Melanie Ojwang (she/they), Loyola Marymount University

Nancy Pickett (she/her), University of Florida

Tea Slater (they/them),  The George Washington University


The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 61 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.