Fellowship Applicants Welcome
Rockville, Md., March 6 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, is pleased to announce the hiring of Shonda McLaughlin, Ph.D., as its new National Leadership Director.
Prior to joining RespectAbility, McLaughlin served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Department of Veterans Affairs for almost six years and previously as a vocational counselor for youth with disabilities. She has more than twenty years of experience and training in the field of rehabilitation counseling. McLaughlin also has taught rehabilitation counseling as a professor. She earned her degree in Rehabilitation Research and Education and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
McLaughlin is excited about serving at RespectAbility, as she will have the opportunity to work with Fellows who are interested in impacting the lives of people with disabilities.
“As a Black woman with an obvious disability who has had many challenges, I want to do whatever I can via mentoring, training, coaching or advocating, to lessen the challenges for others,” McLaughlin said. “RespectAbility provides that platform.”
Said RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, “We had an exhaustive national search for someone with the highest skills, integrity, passion and vision. We are honored and delighted that Dr. McLaughlin will take the reins of our National Leadership Program. She is an ideal role model and professional to recruit and train young leaders who are committed to people with disabilities and who want to go into public service, media and advocacy. Dr. McLaughlin will enable leaders to achieve their dreams – while building a diverse talent pipeline for the disability movement.”
Graduates of the program have gone on to work for the White House, think tanks and in public affairs and advocacy, as well as to numerous high-level law schools and masters programs for public policy.
The Fellowship is supported by the Stanford and Joan Alexander Foundation, which enabled the Fellowship to hire its first Director in 2015, as well as the Ford Foundation, whose grant now enables RespectAbility to include more participants with multiple minority status and/or low-income candidates who cannot afford unpaid Washington internships.
RespectAbility is accepting applications from potential Fellows to serve within the National Leadership Program. There are several fellowship opportunities: