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

Mannela Iparraguirre, Policy Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Summer 2018

Mannela Iparraguirre is smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Mannela Iparraguirre

Mannela Iparraguirre was a summer 2018 Policy Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Iparraguirre has spent her academic career studying policy and writing about it, but now she is finally going to experience the process of applying policy into real-world practice. She is excited to strengthen her research skills and gain an in-depth experience in policy and political outreach—in the nation’s capital. On Saturday mornings Mannela loves volunteering with Buddy Ball of Edison, a sports organization for children with disabilities.

As a rising senior at Rutgers University, Iparraguirre consistently incorporates diversity into all her activities whether academic or extracurricular. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science with a double minor in international and global studies and in geography. She is interested particularly in environment, development, the Middle East and North Africa. As a sister of Omega Phi Alpha—a national service sorority — Iparraguirre enjoys spending her time volunteering with organizations such as Center for Great Expectations—a women’s shelter in Somerset, NJ. Excitingly, Iparraguirre is the incoming Co-President of the Rutgers University Ballroom Dancing Club and Team and is looking forward to growing the club. Before joining RespectAbility, Mannela held a full-time internship position with the Rutgers University Foundation last summer, where she learned about nonprofit management. She continues to work part-time in the Foundation’s Donor Relations department during the school year.

After graduating from college, Iparraguirre hopes to pursue a graduate degree in public policy or international relations, or find a job in a policy-related position. She is a travel enthusiast and has been to eight countries, with Cusco, Peru being her absolute favorite! She hopes to visit more countries in the future and learn more languages. Iparraguirre is familiar with a few languages but she wants to become fluent in them.

From Clifton, New Jersey, Iparraguirre is the youngest in her family and comes from a multicultural household; her father is from Peru and her mother comes from Irish heritage. Her favorite dish is Lomo Saltado, and she loves outdoor Salsa dancing events in New York City—the combination of a summer sunset and live salsa music is magical!

Iparraguirre wrote one piece during the 2018 Summer Apprenticeship. Check it out 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.



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Mannela Iparraguirre
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