Lia Beatty studies neuroscience at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. As is the case with many of the 1 in 5 with learning and attention issues, fundamental and seemingly easy learning objectives have never come naturally for her. Hard work and resourcefulness carried her to college, and it was not until then that she was identified with dyslexia and ADD. She now understands that her ability to learn differently invigorates her ingenuity. The summer before her sophomore year, she realized that to feel like she had a stake in her education, she had to choose a trajectory that she knew would be impactful: neuroscience. She is interested in the relationship between neuroscience research and policy: How does communication between scientists and legislators affect how policy is made?
Although she was identified after she decided her major, the diagnoses have not only reassured her decision, but also led her toward advocacy work. During the academic year, she is a chapter leader and diplomat for Eye to Eye. Her artistic endeavors extend beyond the weekly art room. In addition to photography, she has recently gotten into printmaking and book-binding. She enjoys just about anything outdoors (barring mosquitoes and poison ivy). While she is not much of a recreational reader, you can catch her working through a book on psycholinguistics, neuroscience, LDs, and the like. If you find a book for her to read, add it to her list; she’ll get to it in a few years.
Atira Roberson is a recent graduate of Henderson State University with a Bachelor of Arts in public administration. She will be attending graduate school to obtain her Master of Public Administration degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She wants the world to know that she is so thankful for the opportunity to serve on the Young Adult Leadership Council. As a person with dyslexia and dyscalculia (specific learning disabilities in reading and in math), she wants to be an example to other people who have learning disabilities. Atira believes that no matter how hard things may get, you can make it through and become anything you want to be.
Julia Nessman is a rising senior at Bryn Mawr College. She is studying anthropology, biology, and health studies and plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree after graduation. At Bryn Mawr, she is the president of EnAble, an on-campus student group dedicated to ensuring accessibility and support for students with disabilities. Additionally, she has volunteered and interned with institutions and organizations, including Sibley Memorial Hospital, ACLAMO Family Center, and Iona Senior Services. This summer, she is an intern at Active Minds, an organization that promotes mental health awareness for college students.
Julia is from Washington, D.C., where she attended public schools through eighth grade. As a child with various learning differences, it required a great deal of hard work, resilience, and parental support for her to succeed academically. Julia is excited to be a part of an organization dedicated to improving U.S. education systems for students with learning disabilities
Erin Mayo received her Bachelor of Science degree in education and history from Salem State University. She is from Winchester, MA. In 2019, she received her Master of Arts in higher education administration from George Washington University, concentrating in policy and finance. Erin currently works as a residential education specialist at Pennsylvania State University–University Park. She is passionate about advocating for students with disabilities and in increasing college access for individuals of all abilities. Erin enjoys implementing universal design in a higher education setting while helping students find their sense of belonging at an institution. In her free time, Erin enjoys scrapbooking, traveling, watching New England sports (Go Patriots!), and spending time with her friends and family.
Julia Kaback holds a BA in the field of American studies from Connecticut College. She is the development and fundraising manager at the Global Community Charter School, collaborating with students, teachers, and community members to bring a world-class education to children in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Julia is a lifelong ad(d)vocate for people with learning differences, as well as a conservationist. She also serves as a community ambassador with the Student Conservation Association and as an alumni admission representative with Connecticut College and the Churchill School. Julia is a fan of yoga, baking bread, the New York Yankees, and exploring national parks.
Hailey Jerome recently relocated to Charlotte, NC, to pursue a career in hospitality and events. She is currently studying to become a certified meeting planner (CMP). In Maryland, Hailey was an active participant with Decoding Dyslexia and helped to plan programming for children during their advocacy day in Annapolis. Her work during advocacy day helped in the passage of Maryland’s “Ready to Read Act.” She graduated cum laude from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Arts in human communications with a minor in marketing management.
Michaela Hearst is an advocate, writer, and most recently, a social worker. She graduated with a Master of Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Inspired and driven by her diagnoses of nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) and learning disorder not otherwise specified (LD NOS) at the age of 14, she began her social work journey so she could help others who have learning and attention issues advocate for themselves. She earned a master’s certificate in dyslexia studies and language-based learning disabilities through Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Manhattanville College and an associate’s degree in liberal studies from Landmark College, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Michaela is passionate about the field of learning and attention issues. Her Social Work Professional Seminar graduate presentation, called “Crossing Bridges,” addresses how parents of children (of all ages) with learning and attention issues can be most helpful and supportive. Her undergraduate capstone paper focused on how to counteract stereotypes and stigma surrounding learning and attention issues.
Michaela has served as a developmental intern for NCLD’s New York City office and as a blogger for Understood. She is currently a project social ambassador for the NVLD Project and the first guest blogger at Friends of Quinn. She knows that positive change for individuals with learning and attention issues needs to occur at the policy level, and she’s excited to be a new member of the Young Adult Leadership Council.
Michaela enjoys spending as much time as possible in nature and drinking iced coffee.
Adam Fishbein is a recent graduate of American University, where he was a politics, policy, and law three-year scholar and earned a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies: communications, law, economics, and government. Adam will continue his education at AU for one more year as a Master of Public Administration candidate before graduating in May 2020. Adam previously worked as a policy intern at NCLD in 2018 through the American Association of People with Disabilities Summer Internship Program. He was a Public Policy and Employment Fellow at RespectAbility in 2017 and a Jewish Inclusion and Volunteer Recruitment Fellow in 2019. Adam has also interned for Pennsylvania State Senator Art Haywood, and he is currently vice president of the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance board of directors. Adam is interested in advancing disability policy, particularly education and employment policy, so that the 1 in 5 Americans with disabilities can achieve greatness. Although Adam has struggled with learning and attention issues his entire life, he has developed coping mechanisms and a support system. This has helped him embrace and work with his challenges instead of letting them weigh him down.