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

Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Spring 2020

Ilya Zhitomirskiy was a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Spring 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Zhitomirskiy was born in Moscow and now lives in Rockville, Maryland. Zhitomirskiy is in his second semester at University of Maryland Global Campus studying for a master’s degree in nonprofit management. In addition to his studies, he is a high school sports official overseeing baseball, basketball, football, and volleyball games. In 2019, he was hired to officiate college football games and professional basketball games for the American Basketball Association (ABA), the biggest professional basketball league in the U.S. not affiliated with the NBA. He also has received multiple MPSSAA (Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association) playoff assignments in baseball and volleyball.

Even though his major may not be directly relevant to working with people with disabilities, Zhitomirskiy plans to create a nonprofit that will combine his interest in officiating, his background in nonprofit management, and his interest in helping other people with disabilities. This proposed organization intends to help other people with disabilities become sports officials by providing training and mentorship opportunities, as well as assisting them with advancement up the officiating ladder.

In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, working out, and improving his officiating skills and knowledge of the rules. He also attends officiating camps in the offseason for exposure and to improve his skills.


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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Ilya Zhitomirskiy
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