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Bio – Fellow – Past Fellows

Samantha Haas, Jewish Inclusion Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

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Samantha Haas

Samantha Haas was a Jewish Inclusion Fellow for Spring 2021. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. [continue reading…]

Jake Stimell, Community Outreach Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

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Jake Stimell

Jake Stimell was a Community Outreach & Impact Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for the Spring of 2021. 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.
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Donjeta Sahiti, Nonprofit Management Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

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Donjeta Sahiti

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

Sahiti earned her Masters in Public Administration from Seton Hall University. She hopes to one day run her own nonprofit organization with a focus on educational advancements.

She has previous work experience in public office and nonprofit organizations. She has previously interned at Senator Cory Booker’s Office and for a nonprofit organization called JESPY House. Her experiences have inspired her to enter the nonprofit management field because it is where she feels she will be making the greatest change in society moving forward.

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Courtney Hyde, Nonprofit Management Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

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Courtney Hyde

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

Hyde was elated to work at RespectAbility because their mission and work align with her passion to advocate for inclusion and equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Her interest in advocating and bringing awareness started when she was young and diagnosed with Juenvile Rheumatoid Arthritis, America’s #1 cause of disability according to the Arthritis Foundation.

She thought this fellowship would be a great opportunity to use her voice and advocate on behalf of those who are facing barriers to employment. She hopes to learn how to engage donors with cultivation and stewardship methods as well as improve upon her grant writing and fundraising skills. [continue reading…]

Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Entertainment Media Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020 – Spring 2021

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Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt

Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt was an Entertainment Media Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020 – Spring 2021. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. [continue reading…]

Alice Felder, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020

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Alice Felder

Alice Felder is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Felder is a writer, creator, and entrepreneur. She is studying English and Communications at West Los Angeles College. She has worked in home-healthcare with elderly and disabled people for many years. She is a trusted and beloved ally for the community due to growing up with an older sibling born with Spina Bifida. She has experienced firsthand the challenges her sister and others in the community face, which led to an interest in helping in any way she can. [continue reading…]

Megan Swanson, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020

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Megan Swanson

Megan Swanson is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago (DuPage County), Swanson has never been afraid to face the barriers that were put up against her. Being born deaf and being implanted at age 5 has not stopped her from performing with the color guard, playing the clarinet and cello, and playing basketball and soccer. In fact, it has helped her practice her advocacy, communications, and grow to be independent. During her senior year in high school, she attended the AG Bell LOFT program where she started dreaming of all the things that she could do in the future. While her first dream was physically impossible, she had another dream to put her first dream on the screen and tell stories to break the stigma of barriers. So someday, she’ll make a movie with fighter pilots! [continue reading…]

Jasmine Green, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020

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Jasmine Green

Jasmine Green is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Jasmine Green moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting. She believes that film allows us to take a glimpse into the lives of another and find commonalities that make us feel heard and seen. Jasmine also has a great passion for spirituality and has purposed her life to spread the gospel through film. Outside of the industry, Jasmine enjoys meeting others from all walks of life and spending time with her family. [continue reading…]

Laura Montilla, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020

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Laura Montilla

Laura Montilla is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Montilla grew up on a farm in rural Mississippi before beginning her education at the University of Southern California where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Public Relations. From establishing nonprofits to steering strategy at couture houses, Montilla has cultivated a purpose-driven formulae that she now uses in the brand marketing and PR sphere. She’s worked for Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Lancome, Rock the Vote, Slam Magazine and more. At the helm of the pop culture industry and social justice intersection is design-centered Montilla, steering brands toward tangible change. Her goal is to bring inclusion and diversity into every space through her storytelling and mobilizing abilities. [continue reading…]

Alexander Woods, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020

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Alexander Woods

Alexander Woods is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

As a writer, social media strategist, and creative consultant, Alexander Woods has earned a B.A. in English from Morehouse College and a M.S. in Digital Social Media from University Of Southern California. He has worked in the fashion industry for over 7 years. However, his passion lies in advocating for equality for all. [continue reading…]

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