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

Alejandra Tristan, Philanthropy Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Fall 2021

Alejandra Tristan smiling headshot. Tristan is seated in her wheelchair

Alejandra Tristan

Alejandra Tristan is a Philanthropy Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program, a paid apprenticeship funded by the MacArthur Foundation that provides young professionals with disabilities the tools to thrive in the philanthropic sector. RespectAbility’s mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Tristan was born in Austin, Texas but grew up in various countries overseas. She has returned to a suburb in the Austin area. Tristan has a physical disability and is dyslexic. She is a first-generation Mexican American and bilingual. She is currently a student online at Arizona State University and pursuing her master’s in Public Nonprofit Administration. She expects to graduate in May 2023. In June 2021, Tristan earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business and Spanish from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas. Tristan has had employment and internship opportunities in various fields. She has worked as a summer employee for the then-American Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel. She most recently interned with the local North Texas chapter of the Make-A-Wish foundation. She concluded her internship by granting a wish. She also had various work-study opportunities as an undergraduate, including working with students with disabilities.

Tristan has followed RespectAbility through the years since her disability came to light. She has also been attracted to RespectAbility’s social media presence within the disability community. Tristan has always wanted to give back to her community, so when the Fellowship opportunity arose, she jumped at the chance. The nonprofit field has always been of interest to Tristan, especially fundraising and advocating for and with people with disabilities.

Having lived overseas, Tristan’s true passion is one day to no longer limit change to just the US but make a worldwide impact. She has seen how poverty can make a disability even more difficult. She wants to help not only this generation but also the generation to come.

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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.

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Alejandra Tristan
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