Home > All Categories > Press Release > AAPD Announces Its 2022 Summer Internship Class

AAPD Announces Its 2022 Summer Internship Class

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Press Release

For Immediate Release: 6/9/2022

Contact: Jess Davidson, jdavidson@aapd.com

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce the Summer Internship Program Class of 2022.

In 2002, AAPD launched the Summer Internship Program to develop the next generation of leaders with disabilities. For 20 years, we have placed college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in paid summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations within the Washington, DC area. The AAPD Summer Internship Program advances participants’ career opportunities, deepens their leadership skills, and meaningfully connects them to the broader disability community. 

AAPD provides interns with a living stipend, a technology and internet stipend for remote interns, transportation to and from Washington, DC, fully accessible housing, mentorship, and many networking and educational opportunities.Interns also participate in AAPD’s Disability Advocacy Certificate and learn about effective advocacy methods and key issues within the disability community.  By the conclusion of the program, interns are equipped with experience, knowledge, resources, and strategies to excel in meaningful careers. Interns also develop community connections and leadership skills. 

For the Summer of 2022, we have worked hard to offer our first-ever hybrid internship program, meaning interns can either participate in-person in Washington, DC or remotely. Interns chose the option that was the safest and most accessible for them.

“The Summer Internship Program is one of AAPD’s most impactful programs, and I am thrilled to welcome our 2022 Summer Internship Class.” said Maria Town, President & CEO of AAPD. “At AAPD, we focus on improving access to equitable employment opportunities for disabled people. AAPD also works to build the power of the disability rights movement. The Summer Internship Program is a critically important part of achieving these goals.” 

Town continued, “Internships have provided many with a launching point for their careers, however these opportunities have historically been inaccessible and have deprioritized many forms of diversity. I am proud that access and inclusion is at the core of AAPD’s Summer Internship Program, and excited about the disability community connections and advocacy skills interns will develop through this experience.”

The 2022 Summer Internship Class is: 

  • Ace Frazier, National Black Justice Coalition
  • Adreenah “Dreezy” Wynn, Creative Reaction Lab
  • Alexandra “Zandy” Wong, Office of Congresswoman Katie Porter
  • Aubrianna Wilson, Be A Hero Fund
  • Brian Scholte, The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Britney Taylor, T-Mobile
  • Brooke Evans, federal housing and homelessness policy initiatives
  • Emily “Em” Eagle, Federal Communications Commission
  • Fayza Jaleel, U.S. Department of Human and Health Services’ Administration on Community Living
  • Jacob “Jack” Reeves, Office of Congressman Steny Hoyer
  • Jazmin Barajas, U.S. Access Board
  • Justin Ramirez, Human Rights Campaign
  • Kay (Mikayla) Heston, District of Columbia Office of Disability Rights
  • Ken Sugathan, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • Kristen Lewellen, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Michael Besler, National Disability Rights Network
  • Paula Morales, National Disability Rights Network
  • Sandra Conley, The Kelsey
  • Sheila Xu, Smart Jobs, LLC
  • Shruti Rajkumar, National Public Radio
  • Súeli Gwiazdowski, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • Yardena Gerwin, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, Pensions Committee

You can read the Summer 2022 Interns’ full bios and learn more about them here.

The 2022 AAPD Summer Internship Program would not be possible without the generous support of our partners. Thank you to the Aid Association for the Blind, District of Columbia, Arconic Foundation, Microsoft, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and United Airlines for supporting these talented up-and-coming leaders and professionals. 

COVID-19 Information 

AAPD has ensured that our Summer Interns are able to make choices related to managing their health and safety during the continued COVID-19 pandemic. Interns could choose between participating in-person in Washington, DC, being fully remote, or developing a flexible hybrid option to suit their needs. We also remain flexible for any in-person or hybrid intern to have the option to pivot to remote work as needed at any time during their internship. 

AAPD has closely monitored the COVID-19 pandemic during our planning process and continues to monitor the pandemic and relevant local and federal guidance as well as expert-advised best practice. All Summer Internship participants, including AAPD staff and guest speakers, have agreed to a thorough safety protocol that includes requirements for vaccines, masks, regular testing, and testing before in-person gatherings, with tests provided by AAPD. Project N95’s Masks for Communities Coalition has generously donated N95 or equivalent masks for our AAPD interns, staff, and guest speakers this summer. Read our COVID safety guidelines for the 2022 Summer Internship Program here.