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

Charlotte Ruda, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Spring 2019

Charlotte Ruda smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Charlotte Ruda

Charlotte Ruda was a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbilitys National Leadership Program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Ruda recently graduated from American University with a bachelors degree in International Relations in December 2018. 

Growing up internationally in France, Singapore, Australia and various cities in the U.S., moving for her fathers job in human resources for a defense contractor, Ruda had a desire to learn about international relations and affairs in a formal setting. During her time at American University, Ruda became more focused on international development and formed a passion for public health, particularly during times of humanitarian crises such as refugee crises and mass migration. Throughout college she spent her summers in upstate New York working at Camp Northwood, a traditional summer camp that caters for children and young adults on the autism spectrum, where she began to become a part of the disability community. Throughout the camp experience, while learning and growing personally, she began to notice the lack of discussion about persons with disabilities in the majority of her classes in relation to international development, aid or public health policies. This sparked her desire to become an ally for people with disabilities, particularly in the field of international development. 

Ruda joined RespectAbility in the hopes to learn more about disability-specific policy and programming with the goal of applying it to international development programs. Outside of work, Ruda enjoys listening to music and Podcasts such as No Such Thing as a Fishand Serial,watching cooking shows, particularly The Great British Bake Offand It’s Alive!’ and exploring the many free museums in Washington, D.C.

Rudy wrote one piece during the Spring 2019 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.



Meet the Author

Charlotte Ruda
3 comments… add one
  • Liz Bessel Feb 6, 2019, 11:11 am

    You go Charlotte!!!

  • Laurie Ruda Feb 6, 2019, 10:41 pm

    So thrilled for you Charlotte. ❤️

  • Laurie Ruda Feb 7, 2019, 7:34 am

    So thrilled for you! ❤️❤️❤️

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