National Leadership Program, Summer 2019
Angelica Vega is a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. Vega is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences at American University in Washington, D.C. She is majoring in philosophy and minoring in public health. Also, she is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership and Ethical Development Program (CAS LEAD). CAS Lead is designed to teach and empower students to become effective and ethical leaders through its rigorous, four-year certificate program.
As a person with a disability and woman of color, Vega is passionate about fighting stigmas and promoting diversity and inclusion in schools and the workplace.
As an arts coordinator at the Pop-Up Library, a free-to-access library at the Woodbridge Mall in New Jersey, Vega helped design a community mural and encourage citizens to visit the place. Vega went on to research the importance of libraries at the CAS LEAD Interdisciplinary Symposium. And this summer, as a recipient of American University’s Robyn Rafferty Mathias Undergraduate Summer Fellowship program, she will work with a faculty mentor to explore why public spaces such as public-school libraries help bridge the accessibility gap in education and develop engaged citizens.
Before joining RespectAbility, Vega won the 2018 Lime Connect Fellowship, the flagship U.S. program of a global nonprofit for people with disabilities that helps rising college juniors compete for selective jobs and internships. The program helps students with disabilities to self-advocate in the workplace. Vega’s experience with Lime Connect has made her interested in disability employment policies.
Vega also founded “A Higher Bridge,” a summer program to help high school students prepare for college. She writes career advice blogs on her website and plans lectures for all students. Vega hopes that this program can become a resource for libraries.
Vega is currently working as a campus ambassador for Jopwell, a diversity hiring startup to connect major companies such as Amazon and J.P. Morgan with Black, Latinx and Native American students and professionals.
Also, she is the historian of Phi Sigma Pi (PSP), a gender-inclusive national honor fraternity. As a historian, she is responsible for maintaining a written history of the chapter as well as managing and documenting ritual events.
Vega is looking forward to giving back to her school by becoming a teacher’s assistant (TA) in the fall. She will assistant teach “Theories of Democracy and Human Rights” in the College of Arts and Sciences at American University.
In her free time, Angelica likes to play video games, hang out with her friends, volunteer and read philosophy books. She also likes to travel to new and exciting restaurants around Washington, D.C.
Below are the pieces Vega wrote for RespectAbility publications:
- Book worm to policy wonk: Disability advocate brings her knowledge to Washington, D.C.
(September 12, 2019)
- Vote with our Voice – National Voter Registration Day (September 24, 2019)
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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
- NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT
- COMMUNITY OUTREACH/GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING
- JEWISH INCLUSION