DO-IT Success Stories
Teresa, DO-IT Ambassador
Teresa recently earned a bachelor of science in psychology from Seattle University and plans on pursuing a master of social work at Columbia University. She works to make a difference for people both locally and nationally, through leadership positions both on and off campus, and through her goals to work with underprivileged incarcerated youth. Her goals are rooted in empowering others and continuing advocacy work for the disabled community. Teresa said “DO-IT prepared me to recognize what living in an able-bodied world looks like. They specifically taught us how to advocate, navigate, and be a change maker in a greater effort to destigmatize the world around us. The most important thing I took away from the program is the strength I gained in embracing my identity as a disabled woman. DO-IT is a program that serves to empower each person to embrace the beauty within their own disabilities while also amplifying the need for voices like ours to create a more just and humane world.”
Meenakshi is a software engineer at Microsoft and a recent graduate of Auburn University with a master’s degree in computer science. She has been an active member of AccessComputing for several years, coordinating panels featuring students with disabilities at conferences, participating in conversations in our mentoring community, and attending a capacity building institute. In 2017, Meenakshi was awarded a minigrant to facilitate a one-day workshop for students who are visually impaired along with AccessComputing partner, Dr. Sarah Lee. Meenakshi has engaged in many activities that benefit the disability community, such as running a Facebook support group for working professionals with disabilities, Working With Disabilities. This group provides a space to discuss ableism, accessibility, and share useful resources with each other. Meenakshi said, “AccessComputing helped me realize my passion for accessibility which is an important part of the work I do today. Without their support, I wouldn’t have had a successful college career.”
Erica, DO-IT Ambassador
Erica is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health studying occupational health services. She completed a second year in her internship with the American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) with Michigan Public Health Institute practicing a culturally responsive and racial equity lens in evaluation and research, and she recently worked with the Health Promotion Research Center, evaluating how evidence-based programs for older adults transitioned from in-person to remote during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dissertation focuses on how labor laws and policies impact agricultural worker health. Erica said “As a young Latina, growing up in rural Pateros, WA, I never thought I would do half of the things that I have done already. There have definitely been times when I remind myself to not only accept myself with my disability, but to love myself and the stronger person I have become because of it. When I look back at who I was, all of these programs and experiences has made me a more confident, accomplished, and educated woman.”
Hundreds of DO-IT participants have achieved amazing goals. Participants are earning degrees in a wide variety of interesting and competitive fields, then gaining employment in challenging and world-changing careers.
To learn more about the journeys of DO‑IT participants, consult the resources below.