National Leadership Program, Fall 2018
Naya Rhodes is a Development Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2018. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. Rhodes’s knowledge and experience with disabilities come in part from her uncle who has bipolar disorder. He doesn’t receive the support he needs from his family and doesn’t have access to the right resources. As a result, like many other people with disabilities, he has fallen through the cracks, landing in jail and other institutions not equipped to meet his needs. Mental illness health and its treatment are problems that need more national attention. Rhodes believes change is possible and wants to help improve services and resources for all people with disabilities as best she can.
Rhodes graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Mathematics and a minor in finance. During her time there, she tutored high school students in an after-school program called Upward Bound, which works with public schools and minority students to provide resources their schools cannot afford. For her study abroad in India, Rhodes visited numerous prominent organizations. One that stood out to her and shaped her ideals for the future was The Sehgal Foundation. They are responsible for providing basic resources to impoverished villages and empowering women in India. This journey showed Rhodes that many effective organizations, like The Sehgal Foundation, lack the representation of those they are fighting for. This resonating experience showed Rhodes that she had to get involved in diversity and inclusion.
In her spare time, Rhodes enjoys indoor and outdoor rock climbing, playing songs by My Chemical Romance, Panic! At The Disco, and Fall Out Boy on her guitar, intense hiking, and writing sad poetry. At her university, Rhodes dabbled in glass blowing and intends to have a complete glass blowing studio once she retires. Rhodes is from Chicago but currently lives in Denver, Colorado. She believes Respectability’s mission is important and flew to Maryland to contribute in the best way she can.
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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.
ALL FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
- PUBLIC POLICY/EMPLOYMENT
- COMMUNICATIONS/DIVERSITY IN FILM & TELEVISION
- PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT/FUNDRAISING
- FAITH INCLUSION