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

John McSween, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Summer 2021

John McSween smiling headshot

John McSween

John McSween was a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2021. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

McSween is a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is majoring in Community Health with a concentration in Health Planning and Administration. He is also pursuing a business minor. After graduation, McSween intends on attending a graduate program in healthcare administration with the hopes of mitigating health disparities among all minorities, but especially among people with disabilities. McSween is passionate about making the healthcare system more accessible to those with disabilities who are in need of care.

Growing up with a physical disability, McSween experienced firsthand the stigmas that surround disability. As McSween grew older and began to learn more about the disability community, he realized that this stigma was everywhere, and it affected people with all kinds of disabilities. He also experienced how the healthcare system is very cumbersome for different minority groups.

McSween currently serves on the University of Illinois’ Division of Disability and Educational Resources Student Advisory Committee. This role allows him to advocate and be a voice for students with a plethora of disabilities, both visible and nonvisible. McSween has been playing wheelchair basketball for nine years and currently competes at the collegiate level for Illinois.

Through his Apprenticeship at RespectAbility, McSween hopes to gain a deeper understanding of how to mitigate the stigma that currently surrounds disability.


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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John McSween
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