2020 Scholarship Recipients

AAPD is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship! In 2020, AAPD was able to offer eight (8) NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarships to college and graduate students with disabilities pursuing communications or media-related degrees thanks to the generous support of NBCUniversal.

 

 

Sianna Eldert

Sianna Eldert in a blue dress, and Tree of Life earrings, smiling during her graduation photo. She is standing with her arms crossed. Her red, curly hair is short and stops at eyebrow length. She has brownish-red lipstick on and blue eyes.
Sianna Eldert

Full Sail University

Pronouns: she/her

Sianna Eldert is 17 years old and is attending Full Sail University this fall. She will be working towards a Bachelor’s of Science in Media Communications. When Sianna was 12, she became sick with a cluster of illnesses, most of which fall under the disability Dysautonomia. Those chronic illnesses include: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Fibromyalgia, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). Sianna is a hard worker and is very involved in Scouting BSA, and currently an Eagle Scout Candidate working on a project that will help raise awareness about Dysautonomia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashlyn Guidry

Ashlyn Guidry, a black woman with medium straight black hair, is outside on a bright day. She wears a v-neck navy blue top, and she is standing in front of a white fence as she smiles at the camera. She is wearing light makeup and has brown eyes.
Ashlyn Guidry

The University of New Orleans

Pronouns: she/her

Ashlyn Guidry is an aspiring filmmaker who wants to make films that represent the marginalized communities. She attends the University of New Orleans where she is pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts in Film Production. As someone with a disability and as a black woman in America, she wants to share her stories on the big screen and through streaming. She wants to create stories that people with disabilities can identify with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassidy Huff

Young woman with thick framed glasses wavy, blond hair, and a light blue shirt is turned towards and looking at the camera with a slight smile.
Cassidy Huff

AMDA College of the Performing Arts

Pronouns: she/her

Cassidy Huff is an eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter and actress from Seattle, Washington. Cassidy has performed on stages all over the world including the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and Lincoln Center in New York City. Cassidy is honored to receive this scholarship and be able to put it towards her education at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, a conservatory for the performing arts in Los Angeles, where she will be pursuing her BFA in Musical Theater! Cassidy would like to thank everyone at NBCUniversal for giving her this phenomenal opportunity!

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Kristin Kumagawa

Kristin is pictured smiling with her golden retriever service dog, Mailie. Kristin has dark hair with pink highlights, and is wearing a navy blazer. She is 18 years old and Japanese.
Kristin Kumagawa

Chapman University

Pronouns: she/her

Kristin Kumagawa is a rising sophomore at Chapman University and hopes to graduate as a double major in Communication and Public Relations and Advertising. She was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2014, which has caused her to make more conscious choices to live life with as few regrets as possible. Having just finished her first year in college alongside her service dog, Mailie, she is incredibly grateful to be able to pursue a career in a field with so many possibilities. She has loved being able to work on films, study media and social sciences, and meet people with similar interests.

 

 

 

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Barbara Rivera

Barbara is a brunette with brown eyes wearing a dark blue professional dress posing in front of a dark background for a professional headshot.
Barbara Rivera

American University

Pronouns: she/her

Raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Barbara grew up in a household where every Sunday her dad would make her read the paper and her mom would instill the importance of speaking up against injustices and ill-treatment. From a very young age, she was drawn to politics and advocacy, which in turn made her volunteer for a local representative’s campaign at the age of twelve. Since then, she has been active in politics and media by being part of a student-run publication and several national and federal campaigns. Throughout her experiences and her daily life, she spends time educating people about “invisible” illnesses and disabilities. She considers each of these interactions as a way of moving forward how society treats disabled people. Her goal in the future is to obtain direct experience in media where she can showcase various disabilities in an accurate and positive light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler Schulze

Tyler, a young white man, is sitting outside on the steps of deck on a bright sunny day.  He has a trim beard and mustache and short dark blonde hair.  He wears a white button up dress shirt and khaki colored shorts. Behind him are trees just beginning to bud with spring green leaves and a bright blue sky.
Tyler Schulze

Liberty University

Pronouns: he/him

Tyler Schulze is a 22-year-old undergraduate student majoring in Film Production and Content Development with a focus on Screenwriting. He has worked on film projects as an intern during his summers and enjoys creating shorts during his free time. Tyler has a passion for storytelling and has put together writing teams for working on film and television scripts. He enjoys having a “front seat” for the whole process of bringing a project to life through the magic of scriptwriting, cinematography, editing, directing, and production. For him, working on these projects never feels like work but instead feels like a privilege. By earning his degree in Film Production and Content Development Tyler wants to be the example that shows others that you can rise above the challenges life gives you and find your own way through to your dreams no matter what roadblocks may be in your way. It is his hope that this degree will provide him with a bigger platform that he can use to promote this message and encourage others to go for their dreams!

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Andrew Tilloston

A person in a green turtleneck with curly red hair and glasses is standing against a white wall, smiling, hands clasped together in front of them.
Andrew Tilloston

Northern Illinois University

Pronouns: they/he

Andrew “Ondrew” Tillotson (they/he) is an aspiring data scientist, political organizer, and activist dedicated to fighting socioeconomic and environmental injustice. A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, they had the honor of serving as the President and first-ever Advocacy Coordinator at the Disabled Student Cultural Center, where they remain a proud advisor. Whether in Minneapolis or in their hometown of DeKalb, IL, he has been proud to help hundreds of students as a mentor and tutor by work at the YMCA, TRIO Upward Bound, and through his tutoring service. He is excited to start working towards a degree in Data Science this fall, and they aim to learn how to use this skillset as a policy analyst, campaign manager, or major contributor to a political advocacy group. In his free time, he writes poetry, makes music under the aliases ondrew, sangfroids, and joculatrix, make digital art, and enjoys relaxing outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie Zhang

A Chinese American woman smiles at the camera, wearing glasses, white blouse with red, orange, and yellow floral imprints, and red pants with a belt. She poses with her hand on her hip with brick paths, trees, and grass in the background.
Jessie Zhang

University of Washington

Pronouns: she/her

Jessie Zhang is a d/Deaf and hard of hearing second generation Chinese American woman (she/her). Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Jessie attended the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Informatics and a minor in Diversity. During her time in college, Jessie advocated for d/Deaf and disabled students, and studied abroad in London and Seoul. Jessie is returning to the UW to pursue her Master of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE). She hopes to work in the media, entertainment, and communications industry as a researcher, designer, or storyteller who shares stories that reflect authentic human experiences. In her free time, she enjoys watching animated films, traveling, and trying new recipes. The last thing she made was Hawaiian butter mochi muffins.

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