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Hillary Steen, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Summer 2013

Close-up headshot of Hillary Steen smiling

Hillary Steen

Hillary Steen was a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program in the summer of 2013. After graduating from college, she returned to RespectAbility in January 2015 as our Development and Inclusion Associate.

Her first professional work in the disability space was in high school when she volunteered at the Daisy Recreation Program as a camp counselor for children with disabilities. With that experience and others – like her synagogue’s inclusion initiative for people with disabilities – Steen became committed to supporting, including, and welcoming people with disabilities in all areas of life.

As the development and inclusion associate, Steen mainly worked on fundraising especially grant writing, research, reporting and donor database management. She also assisted with our Jewish inclusion work and supervised the development and Jewish inclusion Apprentices.

Steen previously interned at Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and worked at Eisner Camp. An avid volunteer, she spent time with Elijah’s Promise, Hebrew Union College Soup Kitchen and NYU La Pietra Dialogues. Steen held various leadership positions at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, Temple Beth Torah Senior Youth Group and NFTY-GER. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with Honors in 2014.


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 for more information.



Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the Vice President, Communications, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with 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. As an individual with an acquired invisible disability - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - she writes about the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible. Behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, Appelbaum engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, diverse and inclusive presentations of people with disabilities on TV and film so audiences can see people with disabilities as vital contributors in America and around the world. She and her team have consulted on projects with Amazon, Disney/ABC Television, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and The Walt Disney Studios, among others. Appelbaum also enriches the pool of disabled talent in Hollywood by nurturing and connecting them to those who can assist with their careers, both on the creative and business sides of the industry. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which was created to help entertainment professionals to be as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible, and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working behind the camera. To reach her, email

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