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

Brooke Castagna, Program Development and Fundraising Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2017

Respectability fellow Brooke Castagna smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Brooke Castagna

Brooke Castagna is a strong believer in that your disability does not define you. Her interest in fighting the stigma surrounding those with disabilities started at a young age as she was diagnosed with several learning disabilities, as well as mental health issues. Currently enrolled in her third year at Dickinson College, she is studying psychology and health in hopes of opening up her own private practice for children and adolescents with disabilities.

Castagna hopes to not only argue against the negative connotation of what it means to have a disability, but to also increase the confidence of those individuals who struggle with their personal disability.

Castagna constantly persists in doing whatever she can to create equal opportunities and awareness for those who have disabilities. She has volunteered for many programs and services that include but are not limited to training service/support dogs, being the president of her high school’s girl’s mentoring program and becoming a mentor for incoming students with learning disabilities at Dickinson College. Overall, she has found her passion and goal in life to fight societies negative view amongst those with disabilities.

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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 BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.

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Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum
Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the communications director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, and managing editor of The RespectAbility Report, a publication at the intersection of disability and politics. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit. Appelbaum currently oversees RespectAbility’s outreach to Hollywood to stand up against ableism and other prejudice – while promoting positive, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals on TV and in film. To reach her, email LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

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