2021-2022 Heumann-Armstrong Awardees

The American Association of People with Disabilities, the Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation, and Equal Opportunities for Students are excited to honor the winners of the 2021-2022 Heumann-Armstrong Award. This inaugural award, created this year in part with funding from AAPD’s Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award, gives $1000 awards to students with disabilities who have experienced and fought against ableism in education.

This year’s winners are:
❖ Himani Hitendra, California Virtual Academies
❖ Mercy Botchway, Everett High School
❖ Otto Lana, Fusion Academy
❖ Jennifer Lee, Princeton University
❖ Luca Sax, Lewis & Clark College
❖ Nahime Aguirre Mtanous, University of Chicago, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice

All six of the winners will do interviews which will, in part, be illustrated by Access Gallery.

International disability rights activist Judy Heumann said of the winners, “I am so proud of the wonderful work these Fellows are doing to advance the rights of disabled students.”

A collage of 6 young people with disabilities, around the logo for the Heumann-Armstrong Award
Collage of the winners: Himani Hitendra, Mercy Botchway, Otto Lana, Jennifer Lee, Luca Sax, Nahime Aguirre Mtanous

We would also like to acknowledge the six semi-finalists who were selected, and will each receive a $100 gift card:
❖ Jordyn Zimmerman, Boston College
❖ Colby Spangler, University of Alabama
❖ Alexandra “Zandy” Wong, Johns Hopkins University
❖ Ashley Petersen, Villanova University
❖ Shruthi Rajkumar, Emerson College
❖ Monica Mesecar, University of Notre Dame

A collage of 6 young people with disabilities, around the logo for the Heumann-Armstrong award
Collage of the semi-finalists: Jordyn Zimmerman, Colby Spangler, Alexandra “Zandy” Wong, Ashley Petersen, Shruthi Rajkumar, Monica Mesecar,

“We had a lot of great applicants and selecting our final six was a hard task, but I’m excited with the finalists we’ve selected, and I can’t wait to work with them this year! Congrats to Himani, Mercy, Otto, Jennifer, Luca, and Nahime,” said Elijah Armstrong, founder of Equal Opportunities for Students and winner of AAPD’s Paul Hearne Emerging Leader Award in 2021.

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