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Bio – Fellow – Past Fellows

Zackary Tamimi, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2018

Zackary Tamimi in front of the RespectAbility banner

Zackary Tamimi

Zackary Tamimi is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Tamimi himself has personal connections to the disability world. Several close friends of his are on the autism spectrum as well as one of his cousins. Subsequently, Tamimi hopes to work with RespectAbility in changing popular perceptions of people with autism and other disabilities.

Tamimi is a graduate of the University of Scranton where he completed a double major in Political Science and Communications. While in college he was a member of the fencing club, involved with Korean martial arts off campus and was secretary of the university’s Board and Game Club. After graduation, Tamimi moved to Washington, D.C., where he took a job with Autism Speaks until he decided to follow a calling to politics. He proceeded to work on two separate local-level Democratic campaigns in Maryland during which he served as both a canvasser and a communications intern.

Tamimi hopes to continue working in either the nonprofit or political world. Although he is still uncertain of his exact direction, he knows he wants to pursue a career that enables him to mobilize others around issues that need to be discussed such as climate change, wealth inequality and disability advocacy. A firm believer in democratic values, Tamimi realizes the importance of getting people to voice their concerns. Subsequently, his main goal is to continue advancing a career in political communications. He hopes to accomplish this by working on political campaigns in competitive swing states like Virginia, or by continuing to work with nonprofits focused on issues like the environment, human rights or disability.

In his free time, Tamimi enjoys cooking, reading, weight lifting, photography and tabletop games. He is a self-proclaimed dork and an avid Marvel fan. He has traveled the world and visited nations such as China and Russia. Tamimi hopes to someday have learned enough about his field to start a business in his hometown of Scranton, PA. He hopes he can give back to his community, which is badly in need of new ideas and development.

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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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Virginia Campbell, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2018

Virginia Campbell smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Virginia Campbell

Virginia Campbell is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. RespectAbility’s focus on Hollywood inclusion attracted her to this Fellowship. As a filmmaker and writer with a disability, she is aware of how important it is to hear authentic stories from many different perspectives. She also is aware of how little the perspective of people with disabilities is shared. Her mission in life is to amplify the stories of people with disabilities from all communities so that disability is celebrated as part of the diversity of human experience.

Campbell recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in English. As an undergraduate, she was involved with student-run publications on campus and served as the writing editor for the award-winning yearbook, The Illio. She was also a Virtual Student Foreign Service intern for the U.S. Department of State. In between classes, she co-wrote and produced the independent horror-comedy films, Butcher the Bakers and Grace’s Room.

Even though the previous paragraphs make her sound busy, Campbell is a big believer in the benefits of doing nothing, especially outside, and she frequently does just that in her off hours. She loves parks almost as much as Leslie Knope, the main character of Parks and Rec, one of Campbell’s most-loved TV shows. Her current favorite parks are El Morro National Monument in New Mexico, which has awe-inspiring views, and Amerson River Park in Macon, Georgia, which features large, open grounds and an accessible playground.

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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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Josh Goodrich, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2018

Josh Goodrich smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Josh Goodrich

Josh Goodrich is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Goodrich joined RespectAbility because he grew up with many family members who had disabilities. His grandmother was in a wheelchair, his uncle has autism, and his aunt, who has inspired him, is deaf. Goodrich graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh where he majored in both political science and communication. At Pitt, Goodrich was awarded for writing and delivering a speech about his aunt’s commitment to being an advocate for the deaf community.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch said, “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” These words are important for Goodrich because he wants to understand the world around him, and he wants to help others understand the world. Goodrich believes that media and communication can share stories to inform, educate and inspire people.

In fact, Goodrich already has started to write and create content with that intent. Goodrich does extensive research and regularly publishes content for the BuzzFeed Community, a section for the popular digital media website. He has published articles about whimsical topics including an interview he had with an AI and about TanaCon. He also has written serious articles about the Apple/Samsung patent lawsuit, the Nestlé and Starbucks business deal, and the Chinese cryptocurrency ban.

In his free time, Goodrich writes novels and hopes to publish his political-adventure story in the future. He also likes to learn languages and currently is learning Norwegian because Goodrich dreams of being able to live and work in Norway.

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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Emma Content, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2018

Emma Content smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Emma Content

Emma Content is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2018. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Content is expecting a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in May 2018.

Content joined RespectAbility because she believes people should not be judged for their disabilities, visible or invisible. She has panic disorder and major depressive disorder and has experienced the stigmas that surround mental health as well as disability. Content looks forward to working with RespectAbility so that issues such as disability and mental health are not subject to judgment or discrimination.

Before she joined RespectAbility, Content interned at the office of Kurt Schrader (5-OR) on Capitol Hill and with the Maryland Democratic Party in Annapolis. She also teaches English as a second language at the Washington English Center in Washington, D.C. Additionally she volunteers as an ESL tutor for the Adult Literacy Education Center in College Park, Maryland. She also is currently working on her senior thesis “People, Polarization, and the Politics of Trust,” which discusses the causes and effects of polarization in American politics and how they influence the public’s trust in government institutions. She hopes to publish it in a journal next spring.

Outside of school and work, Content enjoys drawing, painting, reading and writing. She currently is reading Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock, which is an ethnography of an Iraqi village in the 1960’s. She also horseback rides and competes in dressage and hunter-jumper events when she cans. Content would someday like to get into fencing, swordsmanship, archery, and maybe even hawking!

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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Adi Gal, Communications Intern

Volunteer Intern, Fall 2018

Adi Gal headshot

Adi Gal

Adi Gal is a Communications Intern at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities.

She currently is a high school senior at Tenafly High School. Her work at RespectAbility focuses on increasing awareness via organized campaigns targeting media outlets and elected officials through emails, op-eds and other means. She joined RespectAbility because she believes in the cause and due to her experiences with her sister, who has Smith-Magenis Syndrome. She has experience working with children with disabilities at a local weekend art class. In her free time, Gal loves reading, writing, and playing D&D with her friends.Adi Gal is a Communications Intern at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities.

She currently is a high school senior at Tenafly High School. Her work at RespectAbility focuses on increasing awareness via organized campaigns targeting media outlets and elected officials through emails, op-eds and other means. She joined RespectAbility because she believes in the cause and due to her experiences with her sister, who has Smith-Magenis Syndrome. She has experience working with children with disabilities at a local weekend art class. In her free time, Gal loves reading, writing, and playing D&D with her friends.

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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Molly Donald, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2018

Molly Donald is smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Molly Donald

Molly Donald is thrilled to be working as a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for the summer of 2018. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. While working as a teaching assistant for children with learning disabilities at a daycare center, Donald gained a particular interest in the advancement of rights for people with disabilities. Her goal for this Fellowship is to expand her knowledge of the barriers faced by people with disabilities so that she can better address them and the inequities they generate.

Donald believes that everyone deserves an equitable opportunity to thrive. The daughter of two public school teachers, Donald’s passion for fairness and equality developed while listening to her parents discuss the limits and failings of the public school system. This ardor only grew as she began to study law and government in college, as she observed that source of so many American citizens’ strife is structural and institutional.

A rising senior at the University of Maryland, Donald currently is pursuing an undergraduate degree in government and politics with a minor in professional writing. She also participates in a 4+1 graduate program, where she is able to complete a masters in public policy in addition to her undergraduate degree. After completing her masters, she plans on attending law school, with the goal of specializing in constitutional law.

Donald is originally from Frederick, Maryland. During her youth, she interned for five years at the Maryland Shakespeare Festival. During this time, she cultivated a love for the poetic meter—especially blank verse and anapestic tetrameter. An avid reader, she enjoys all genres of literature. Her favorite authors are Terry Pratchett (Discworld) and Amy Hempel (At The Gates of The Animal Kingdom).

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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Mannela Iparraguirre, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2018

Mannela Iparraguirre is smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Mannela Iparraguirre

Mannela Iparraguirre is a summer 2018 Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Iparraguirre has spent her academic career studying policy and writing about it, but now she is finally going to experience the process of applying policy into real-world practice. She is excited to strengthen her research skills and gain an in-depth experience in policy and political outreach—in the nation’s capital. On Saturday mornings Mannela loves volunteering with Buddy Ball of Edison, a sports organization for children with disabilities.

As a rising senior at Rutgers University, Iparraguirre consistently incorporates diversity into all her activities whether academic or extracurricular. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science with a double minor in international and global studies and in geography. She is interested particularly in environment, development, the Middle East and North Africa. As a sister of Omega Phi Alpha—a national service sorority — Iparraguirre enjoys spending her time volunteering with organizations such as Center for Great Expectations—a women’s shelter in Somerset, NJ. Excitingly, Iparraguirre is the incoming Co-President of the Rutgers University Ballroom Dancing Club and Team and is looking forward to growing the club. Before joining RespectAbility, Mannela held a full-time internship position with the Rutgers University Foundation last summer, where she learned about nonprofit management. She continues to work part-time in the Foundation’s Donor Relations department during the school year.

After graduating from college, Iparraguirre hopes to pursue a graduate degree in public policy or international relations, or find a job in a policy-related position. She is a travel enthusiast and has been to eight countries, with Cusco, Peru being her absolute favorite! She hopes to visit more countries in the future and learn more languages. Iparraguirre is familiar with a few languages but she wants to become fluent in them.

From Clifton, New Jersey, Iparraguirre is the youngest in her family and comes from a multicultural household; her father is from Peru and her mother comes from Irish heritage. Her favorite dish is Lomo Saltado, and she loves outdoor Salsa dancing events in New York City—the combination of a summer sunset and live salsa music is magical!

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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Daniela Nieves, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2018

Daniela Nieves is smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Daniela Nieves

Daniela Nieves is a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. She joined RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with and without disabilities, to learn more about public policy and to work for a nonprofit organization that aims to help people with and without disabilities. Nieves plans to use her experience helping students with and without disabilities at RISE to contribute in education policy for youth with disabilities in America. She will also use her Spanish speaking and reading skills to participate in the creation of a Spanish toolkit for parents of students with disabilities. She first connected with people with disabilities as a high school advisor in Newark, New Jersey. She guided youth with intellectual disabilities to apply to college and to fight the stigmas associated with their disabilities. This process made her aware of the lack of accommodation and disability awareness. Most of the youth she advised had intersecting identities such as disability and race that made school more difficult.

Nieves is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark. On campus, Nieves is involved with social justice in urban cities and is a member of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network. She also is an Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC) scholar. In HLLC, she takes social justice classes every semester, consisting of urban education, intersectionality and international cultures. Her experience through urban education as a Rutgers Inspires Student’s Early advisor led to her interest in children with disabilities.

Her professional and personal interests in the future include attending law school, traveling around the world and representing disenfranchised peoples such as those with disabilities, immigrants and people of color. One of her personal missions is to help people with disabilities in prison and juvenile detention. Her favorite nonprofit organization to advocate for is Mallory’s Army, a nonprofit in New Jersey focusing on the fight against bullying. She babysat 12-year-old Mallory for a year and tragically lost her from suicide due to bullying. She is passionate about bullying and suicide awareness among children and would like to learn about its correlation with people with disabilities.

Her mother and father motivate her to work for marginalized people in America. Her mother immigrated from Colombia to the U.S. at the age of 19, and her father is from Puerto Rico. Living in a predominately caucasian area in New Jersey, her family was marginalized regularly for being Latino. From the early complications of buying a house in the suburbs to her personally getting bullied in school for looking different and speaking two languages, Nieves understands intersectionality. As a minority, she can relate to others who have intersecting identities and plans to focus her career on public service for marginalized people.

 

Christina Revilla Chacon, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2018

Headshot of Christina Revilla Chacon in front of the Respectability banner

Christina Revilla Chacon

Christina Revilla Chacon is a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2018. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Revilla Chacon is excited to join the RespectAbility team to experience direct advocacy. She is passionate about dismantling the obstacles people with disabilities face each day to reach new opportunities in employment and education. Through RespectAbility, she hopes to gain experience in the nonprofit sector and to advocate for policy issues she is passionate about.

Originally from Weymouth, Massachusetts, Christina has called Washington, D.C., her home for the past three years. She is a rising senior at the Catholic University of America and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in psychology. She has interned on both the state and federal level of U.S. government and internationally as an intern for the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Through her community service and work in student government, she has acquired a passion to fight for issues that are important for the common good. After her undergraduate studies, she hopes to put her interests and passions to work as a lawyer, fighting for minorities that lack health care, education or a livable wage.

While changing the world is on her future to do list, she dreams of moving back to the UK and trying every pub within the city’s perimeters to find the best meat pie and pint combo. For now, Revilla Chacon enjoys exploring DC in an attempt to find the best breakfast spot this side of the Atlantic. She also enjoys repeatedly binge-watching The Office, showing anyone who asks (or doesn’t) pictures of her dog and going for runs on the National Mall.

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam, Nonprofit Management Fellow

 National Leadership Program, Summer 2018

Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam is smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam

Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam was a Nonprofit Management Fellow in the National Leadership Program at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Through her work at St Louis ARC, Assokom-Siakam has worked with individuals with disabilities to expand their opportunities whether at work or at home. These experiences with people with disabilities have motivated her to join RespectAbility and to help ensure that people with disabilities have the financial resources to pursue their ambitions. At RespectAbility, Assokom-Siakam will be helping the development team in two major areas: the initiative to increase and strengthen partnerships with philanthropic organizations and the grant-seeking process.

Assokom-Siakam is a third-year student at Washington University in St. Louis pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International and Area Studies – Development. Her own Cameroonian-American background, as well as growing up in multicultural Washington, D.C., has motivated her to study marginalized diaspora communities such as those of Arab or African descent in the U.S. During the academic year, Assokom-Siakam is an intern for the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research through the Institute for Public Health at Washington University. There she creates promotional material for center events and researches violence prevention.

Assokom-Siakam is interested in elements of urban spaces such as architecture, transportation, public policy and how people interact with these spaces. She still is exploring possible professions. Currently, her interests include public health, politics and user research. An example of user research is how people use a public park.

In her free time, Assokom-Siakam enjoys listening to comedy acts. In addition to the occasional run, to stay physically active, Assokom-Siakam plays rugby on the women’s club team at her university. She also likes frequenting restaurants with friends and family to try different food. Assokom-Siakam highly recommends inapa, also known as eru. Inapa is her favorite Cameroonian dish: a peanut sauce cooked with bitter leaves similar to spinach and beef.

JOIN OUR TEAM!

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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