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Isabella Russo, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Spring 2023

Isabella Russo smiling headshot wearing a yellow shirt

Isabella Russo

Isabella Russo (she/her) is a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Spring 2023. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigma and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Russo recently graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University with a BS in rehabilitation and disability studies. She plans to start a Master of Social Work program in fall of 2023. Through her Master of Social Work degree and experience as a nonprofit management apprentice, she hopes to gain a better understanding of the discrepancies of life with a disability versus life without a disability.

Russo has been working with and advocating for people with disabilities for around eight years, and it has developed into one of her biggest passions. This passion was further amplified when her dad became a leg amputee in 2017. She saw the social impact of disabilities, and she strived to make a difference. This led her to work at a camp for people with autism of all support needs for the past two summers, as well as to become a senior therapeutic volunteer with a center for people with disabilities who have graduated high school. These experiences have helped develop her career goals in becoming a disability social worker. Eventually, she would like to use her passion to create a transitional independent living center for people with disabilities outside of high school. In her vision, it will be a place where people with disabilities can live with reasonable accommodations, acquire self-advocacy skills, job skills, and much more to thrive in their career and life.

Through her work as an apprentice with RespectAbility, Russo hopes to gain more skills regarding how to manage a nonprofit organization. She was very enthusiastic about the core values of the organization, as they line up well with her own values. She believes promoting the abilities of people with disabilities and educating others to better understand how it feels to be on the other side.

In her free time, Russo likes to go thrifting, go to record stores, do puzzles, read, and watch TV shows. Some of her favorite TV shows are Community, The Good Place, New Girl, and Good Girls. She is always up for an adventure with her friends and for a chance to snuggle with her two dogs!


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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Isabella Russo
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