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Bio – Fellows

Krista Ramirez-Villatoro, Entertainment Media Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2021

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Krista Ramirez-Villatoro

Krista Ramirez-Villatoro is an Entertainment Media Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for the Summer of 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…]

Taylor Ragano, Community Outreach & Impact Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

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Taylor Ragano

Taylor Ragano is 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 that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. [continue reading…]

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…]

Kelley Cape, Entertainment Media Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2021

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Kelley Cape

Kelley Cape is an Entertainment Media Fellow with 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.

Cape has spent her professional and academic career galvanizing inclusive cultures everywhere she goes. From creating access to domestic independent agency, diverse STEM workforces and representation on Hollywood’s screens, to directing research studies that challenge ideas of ableism and promote intersectionality, her dedication and passion for DEI is the center. [continue reading…]

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…]

Ian Malesiewski, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020 – Spring 2021

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Ian Malesiewski

Ian Malesiewski was a Public Policy and Employment Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter and 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.

Malesiewski was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. In high school, Ian was both a Division One football and wrestling recruit. On June 3, 2016, Malesiewski experienced a traumatic neck/spinal cord injury while wrestling in the Cadet World Team Trials at the University of Akron; he was trying to earn a spot representing the United States of America at the World Championships in Bourges, France. [continue reading…]

Alex Howard, Entertainment Media Fellow

National Leadership Program, Winter 2020 – Spring 2021

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Alexander Howard

Alex Howard was an Entertainment Media Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Winter 2020 and 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.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Howard visited various famous filming locations like the LA River in Northridge, where Arnold Schwarzenegger rode his motorcycle in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. That trip was a defining moment in his childhood, sparking his fascination with movies and the mind-bending stories they can tell. Howard earned a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Television from California State University, Northridge in 2015. He has had several internships, including KTTV, Atmosphere Entertainment and Phoenix Pictures where he worked for producer Mike Medavoy. While interning, Howard fell in love with the development process. He believes the core of every good piece of entertainment is a solid, compelling and interesting story. Most recently, Howard was a temp for Warner Brothers on long-term assignment at DC Comics and a part-time film critic intern for mxdwn.com. This past summer, he was invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2020 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. [continue reading…]

Zoltán Boka, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

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Zoltan Boka

Zoltán Boka was a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 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.

Boka was born in Budapest, Hungary where he survived a childhood bout with hydrocephalus, a form of traumatic brain injury. He moved to Philadelphia with his family around the time the Berlin Wall fell. Boka has since earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, taught in three continents and worked in municipal, state and federal government. [continue reading…]

Chinyere B. Azike, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

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Chinyere Azike

Chinyere B. Azike was a Public Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2020 through 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.

Azike, a Nigerian, began her journey advocating for persons with disabilities in 2014 following her experience with a very young boy who had Down syndrome. At such a formative age, this boy, who was supposed to be getting an education, was a mistreated apprentice in a cobbler’s shop. Chinyere leveraged this experience to research disability, including congenital disabilities like Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Dyslexia. [continue reading…]

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