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

Jake Stimell, Community Outreach Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

Jake Stimell smiling headshot

Jake Stimell

Jake Stimell was a Community Outreach & Impact Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for the Spring of 2021, and is now the Associate, Speakers Bureau & Jewish Inclusion at RespectAbility. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Stimell graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Through his coursework, he conducted extensive academic research focused on the psychosocial effects of disabilities, as well as on the prevalence of ableism in student athletes. Through a college fellowship, Stimell worked in disability advocacy at the Invisible Disabilities Association, where he played a significant role in the introduction of disability legislation in New York, Pennsylvania and Alabama. For his work, Stimell was awarded the 2020 Invisible Disabilities Association Volunteer Award for his efforts.

While at Franklin & Marshall, Stimell became increasingly more involved in the Jewish community through his affiliation with Hillel and Zeta Beta Tau, the first and largest Jewish fraternity. He also expanded his involvement in the disability community through his social media presence and membership in the Deaf and Disabled Student’s Union. He has focused his efforts on gaining varied experience in the disability field since graduating college.

After graduating, Stimell held a research position at Understood, an organization dedicated to providing lifetime support to individuals with learning disabilities. His research focused primarily on partnership opportunities and social-emotional interventions for children with learning disabilities. Stimell also has significant leadership experience, including serving as the Vice President of his college fraternity and participating in the 2020 Link20 National Leadership Program.

Stimell’s personal experience with a neuromuscular disability, coupled with his academic and professional experience in the disability field, have enabled him to more fully understand the varied experiences of people with disabilities. Stimell lives in New York City and has been an avid sports fan for his entire life, always cheering on the New York Yankees and the New York Giants. 

He hopes to continue his disability advocacy journey through expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities, particularly in the world of sports coaching and management.


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

Jake Stimell

Jake Stimell is the first-ever Associate, Speakers Bureau & Jewish Inclusion at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. In his work, Stimell recruits, trains and places leaders with disabilities as speakers with the National Disability Speakers Bureau (NDSB). He connects talented speakers to organizations (nonprofits, corporations and educational institutions) seeking disability training. Reach Stimell at [email protected]

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