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Three Gallaudet Students Job Shadow in Obama Administration

Three Gallaudet students have been invited to participate in a day of job shadowing with key figures in the Obama administration. Undergraduates Colin Whited, Allison Weiner, and Leila Hanaumi have gained this opportunity as part of Disability Mentoring Day, an annual program of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). This year, the national launch on October 20 will take place in Washington, D.C., at the K Street law firm K & L Gates.

Disability Mentoring Day is an international effort to promote career development for students and job seekers through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring leading to internship and employment opportunities. AAPD Program Manager Michael Murray said that the day will connect about 1,600 students with mentors in every U.S. state and territory and in 23 other countries.

Whited, Weiner, and Hanaumi will join 17 other college students, recent graduates, and law students from the D.C. area who will be placed with a mentor from the Federal Government that day. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Office of Personnel Management are among the offices that will open their doors to the selected students and young professionals.

The launch breakfast will be hosted by The Honorable Dick Thornburg, who previously held the posts of the Governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Attorney General, and by Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, The Honorable Christine Griffin. The day will conclude with a meeting with Kareem Dale, special assistant to President Barack Obama for disability policy, and a dinner.

“DMD is a hugely successful program that provides rewarding interactions between people of the disability community and those in the professional community,” explained AAPD President and CEO Andy Imparato in a press release. Imparato added that the program is not only for the benefit of the mentees, but also for the mentors and coordinators, calling the experience “life-changing and irreplaceable” to all involved.

Indeed, said Murray, “we’re breaking stereotypes .”

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