Organization: American Association of People with Disabilities, U.S. International Council on Disabilities, The Washington Center
Years: 2002 - 2015
In 2002, MEAF provided a grant to the American Association of People with Disabilities to place two outstanding college students with disabilities in internships on Capitol Hill. Originally dubbed the MEAF-AAPD Congressional Internship Program, the program has grown and evolved over the past decade into the AAPD Summer Internships Program, placing 30 college students with disabilities from across the country in Congressional Offices, Federal Agencies, nonprofits and corporations each summer.
Over the years, Microsoft, Walmart, The HSC Foundation and other funders have joined with MEAF in supporting this premier internship program providing career development experiences for nearly 200 up and coming young leaders.
In 2013, with MEAF's support, the U.S. International Council on Disability replicated the Summer Internship Program model to place students with disabilities in foreign affairs organizations helping to broaden participation in this field.
In 2014, MEAF joined with other funders, such as AT&T, Prudential, The HSC Foundation and others to support The Washington Center's Leadership Initiative for Studnets with Disabilities. 12 MEAF Scholars from across the U.S. will participate in internships at various organizations in Washington, DC throughout the year.
The list of accomplishments of the alumni of the AAPD Summer Internship Program grows each year. 86 alumni report having full time employment, a few outstanding examples:
- Stacy Cervenka ('04) was hired by Senator Brownback (R-KS) following her internship progressing to become the Senator's Legislative Assistant. She went on to graduate school and is now working Rehabilitation Services in California.
- Andrew Phillips ('05) graduated law school and is now a policy attorney with the National Association of the Deaf.
- Elizabeth Kolbe ('06) was a paralympic athlete in swimming in the 2008 games. She graduated from Harvard and Stanford Law, and is now an associate attorney at Sidley Austin LLP in their healthcare law practice
- Haley Kimmet ('06) is the Conference Coordinator with TASH--a national advocacy organization for people with severe disabilities.
- Arisa Nakamori ('07) is in Human Resources at the U.S. Department of State.
- Dana Fink ('08) served as Program Manager with the American Association of People with Disabilities, and is now Assistant Project Coordinator at the Institute for Educational Leadership's Center for Workforce Development .
- Leah Katz-Hernandez ('09) established DeafYouth USA, became a White House fellow and HSC Foundation Transition Fellow. She now works for the White House in the Office of the First Lady.
- Ari Ne'eman ('09) founded the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and was appointed by President Obama to the National Council on Disability.
- Stacy Milburn ('09) and Micah Fialka-Feldman ('12) were both appointed to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
- Video: Advice for Youth with Disabilities from Stacy Cervenka
- Video: AAPD Summer Internship Video
- Video: President Obama Engages with Youth with Disabilities
- Video: Harkin Chats About ADA Generation; Workplace Accommodations
- Video: Amelia Wallrich, former Congressional Intern
- Video: AAPD intern Terhas Clark in Senator Harkin’s video marking the ADA anniversary
- AAPD Intern Blog
- Article: Leah Katz-Hernandez, former MEAF/AAPD Congressional Intern
- Article: Nijat Worley on the front page of House.gov
- Article: by Hamza Jaka, including excerpts from his blog