Isabella Vargas, Entertainment Media Program Coordinator
Isabella Vargas is an Entertainment Media Program Coordinator at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.
Vargas is a filmmaker and community organizer whose experience with multiple disabilities, and her love for advocacy, led her to RespectAbility. A first-generation graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking. During her time at Sarah Lawrence, Vargas’s main interest was celebrating underrepresented experiences. Her work has focused on identity and the nuances of navigating immigrant spaces as someone with neurological disabilities.
Straight after college, she dived into every niche of the film industry – from development to production. She tends to boast about getting a first look at some of Late-Night host Samantha Bee’s jokes when she worked in the production department. Soon after, Vargas became interested in the intersection of media and activism. She recently graduated RespectAbility’s 2022 Lab for Entertainment Professionals and is a current BRIClab resident in Brooklyn, New York, while also acting as a community organizer for different NYC organizations.
While she immensely enjoyed these experiences, Vargas felt the need to further explore disability advocacy. Caring deeply about her intersecting communities ultimately led her to an apprenticeship at RespectAbility. Her ultimate goal is to be a disability advocate in the media space while also cultivating the tools necessary to craft compelling stories about people who identify as disabled and as BIPOC.
When not overanalyzing films, Vargas is an avid oil painter, an overbearing cat mom, and a plant lover with a bad green thumb. In her free time, she enjoys writing projects that focus on the immigrant diaspora and its relationship to trauma and the politics of care.