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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Judith Lao, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Summer 2017

Judith Lao

Judith Lao was a Nonprofit Management Apprentice with RespectAbility. Lao currently is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She is an individual with a mental illness and believes that her personal experiences facing stigma and marginalization have translated well into an active passion for advocacy.

Lao is part of Project LETS at Brown University, which supplements traditional mental healthcare with accessible, empathetic peer support focused on empowerment of the peer. She is interested in the relationship between mental health and mental illness. She also is interested in the variety of ways in which one’s experiences can be influenced by the definition of disability—both the self-affirmative and self-identifying label of disability, as well as the stigmatized definition placed upon individuals by society.

Lao profiled Kevin Webb, Nancy Bocskor and Debbie Ratner Salzberg, three guest speakers for the 2017 Summer Apprenticeship. Read them on our website:


RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact [email protected] for more information.



Meet the Author

Judith Lao

Judith Lao is a Program Development and Fundraising Fellow. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Brown University. As an individual with a mental illness, she believes her personal experiences with stigma and marginalization have translated into an active passion for advocacy.

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