Steering Committee


Aaron Westendorp 20 years old from Edina, MN

School/Employer: Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Interests: Music, Percussion, Activism

What does it mean to you to be a leader?

It means that I get to assist people in getting better care and a better education

What's different/unique about being a leader with a disability?

You get a lot of attention

Something that You’re Good At:

Communication with others

Something that You Want to Learn:

How to be more efficient with my projects

What is your leadership goal?

To make change in this messed up society

Alex C. Edward Brown 18 years old from Monticello, FL

School/Employer: Tallahassee Community College/ Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Interests: I enjoy playing role-playing games, and reading fantasy novels. I like to bowl and am very involved in my church.

What does it mean to you to be a leader?

To me a leader is the person who is willing, no matter the risk, step out and blaze a new path. Leaders have to be willing to accept the responsibility for their actions. No one will follow someone who doesn’t do anything. A leader leads by his action as well as his words.

What's different/unique about being a leader with a disability?

What makes being a leader with a disability unique is they not only have the responsibilities that every other leader has, but they also the limitation that their disabilities place on them.

Something that You’re Good At:

I am good at giving speeches

Something that You Want to Learn

I want to learn how to more effectively edit my own writings

What is your leadership goal?

My leadership goal is to work on getting those who either follow me or those who are fellow leader more involved in what I am trying to accomplish. I can’t win many battles on my own. I need their help, but a lot of times I have the mentality that have to do it alone.

Carly Fahey 16 years old from Tallahassee, FL

School/Employer: Leon High School
Interests: Movies, Music, Shopping, Current Events

What does it mean to you to be a leader?

Being a leader has been eye opening and very meaningful to me. Leadership brought me a tremendous amount of experience in life. It helped me realize that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, that’s not something you can learn in any classroom. It means a great deal to me to be able to share my perspective with other people and it is to me to be able to be seen by adults as not just a kid or another average teenager.

What’s different/unique about being a leader with a disability?

I think experiences with any kind of disability often builds character. Every leader with a disability has something different to bring to the table, regarding their challenges that they have faced or conquered. I think that a lot of times leaders with a disability learn not to take many things for granted, because you know that some things don’t come as easily as others in life.

Something that You’re Good at

Playing the Flute

Something that You Want to Learn:

How to sail

What is your leadership goal?

To make a significant change for the better for all individuals with disabilities.

Mikelle Learned 22 years old from Denver, CO

School/Employer: Tango Consulting as a presenter, FashionAble as small business owner.
Interests: Fashion, presenting, hanging out with my friends at Starbucks, volleyball in the park with my friends and Usher…always.

What does it mean to you to be a leader?

Showing people around me that having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t have the good stuff in life. I like giving presentations which show people how I have used assistive technology to work, live in my own place and have lots of friends and fun!

What’s different/unique about being a leader with a disability?

Sometimes people think you are stupid and you have to work harder to let them know you have things to offer.

Something that You’re Good At

Selling. I can sell bracelets after a presentation very well. I have fun with people and seem to be effective in helping them see things a different way.

Something that You Want to Learn

More about leadership from the other members.

What is your leadership goal?

To be an example that having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and have the good things in life.

Kati Seymour 25 years old from South Dakota

School/Employer: Sinte Gleska University/ University of South Dakota
Interests: camping, boating, riding horses, snow skiing, theater, writing poetry, playing the tuba

What does it mean to you to be a leader?

Making the impossible possible through vision, thought, words and action.

What's different/unique about being a leader with a disability?

The most challenging thing is overcoming the stigma attached with society’s connotation of disability.

Something that You’re Good At

playing Scrabble®

Something that You Want to Learn

Chinese

What is your leadership goal?

For now: To empower youth and families affected by diverse needs not to limit themselves in achieving equality...and perhaps one day become the Governor of South Dakota.

Megan Reynolds 17 years old from Providence, RI

School/Employer: Feinstien High School
Interests: Egypt, reading Harry Potter books (1-6 waiting for book 7 to come out)

What does it mean to you to be a leader?

A leader helps his/her peers and is opened to new ideas.

What's different/unique about being a leader with a disability?

Others non-disabled people might see the disabled as a lower state but others who are disabled might need others that are open to new ideas.

Something that You're Good At:

I am good at typing, making new stories here and now.

Something that You Want to Learn:

I want to learn about being a good leader and show others who are not disabled that people with disabilities can do the things they can.

What is your leadership goal?

To be a good listener.