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AAPD Announces Its 2023 Summer Internship Class

by | Jun 6, 2023 | Press Release

For immediate release: June 6, 2023

Contact: Yoli Navas at yoli@newcostrategies.com

WASHINGTON D.C. — The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is pleased to announce the Summer Internship Program Class of 2023.

Over 20 years ago, AAPD launched the Summer Internship Program to develop the next generation of leaders with disabilities. AAPD has 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. 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 or a housing stipend, mentorship, and many networking and educational opportunities. Interns also participate in AAPD’s Disability Advocacy Certificate program 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.

The Summer 2023 program is the second-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. To ensure the program remains as safe as possible amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AAPD continues to implement strong COVID-19 precautions for in-person interns.

“AAPD is thrilled and honored to welcome the 2023 Summer Internship class,” said Maria Town, President & CEO of AAPD. “For more than twenty years now the Summer Internship Program has been building a pipeline of diverse leaders in spaces that have historically been inaccessible or unavailable to disabled people. What this work has shown us is that it’s now more critical than ever to continue to build opportunities for community connections, leadership, and professional skills development across all sectors for disabled students and recent graduates.”

The 2023 Summer Internship Class is:

  • Audrey Agbefe, National Black Justice Coalition
  • Christina Stafford, Center for American Progress, Disability Justice Initiative
  • Jada Thompson, Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth
  • Jessica Lopez, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy
  • JS Shokrian, Northwestern Law School’s Center for Racial and Disability Justice
  • Keisheona Wilkins, CareSource
  • Kinshuk Tella, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Environment Branch
  • Lauren Proby, National Disability Rights Network
  • Logan Jalil, The Kelsey
  • Melissa Shang, The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Neil Purohit, The Century Foundation, Disability and Economic Justice Collaborative
  • Rachel Litchman, National Disability Rights Network
  • Rudy Karthick, Toivoa
  • Saphire Murphy, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
  • Sarah Smith, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • Shariese Katrell, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
  • Shawn Abraham, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • Shreya Singh, Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee
  • Stephanie Picazo, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living
  • Trisha Kulkarni, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of the Chair

You can read the Summer 2023 Interns’ full bios and learn more about them here.

The 2023 AAPD Summer Internship Program would not be possible without the generous support of our partners. Thank you to Aid Association for the Blind, District of Columbia, Arconic Foundation, Microsoft, and United Airlines for supporting our Summer Internship Program. Project N95’s Masks for Communities Coalition has generously donated N95 masks or equivalent for our AAPD summer interns, staff, and guest speakers.

2023 also marks the year that we expand our program into the fall. We are currently accepting applications for our 2023 Fall Internship Program. The deadline to apply is Thursday June 8 at 11:59pm ET.