We’ve put together a Dream Team: the Fall 2023 Cohort of the Dinah F.B. Cohen DREAM Fellows! The Dinah F. B. Cohen DREAM Fellowship is a program for college students and recent graduates with disabilities that is dedicated to equipping participants with essential professional skills and developing their leadership capabilities. This paid fellowship offers participants the opportunity to develop a project under the guidance of PYD staff and engage in the National Disability Mentoring Coalition’s network. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this program to a cohort of 10 new fellows and engage fellowship alumni this fall thanks to generous financial support from GEICO.
Let’s get to know the Fall 2023 DREAM Fellows!
Meet the Fall 2023 Dinah F. B. Cohen DREAM Fellows
Alexis Sye (she/her)
Alexis Sye (she/her) is a junior at Yale University majoring in the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. After graduation, Alexis will pursue a JD/MPH and hopes to work in the intersection of health, disability, and law. This summer, Alexis was the Public Health Intern at the Minnesota Disability Law Center where she gained experience in direct service work and public health programming. At Yale, Alexis has experience building cross-disability coalitions for advocacy efforts and communal support through her executive board positions in extracurricular organizations and her work as a peer mentor for students with disabilities.
Mira Bhattacharya (she/her)
Mira Bhattacharya is from Brooklyn, NY. She is a physician assistant (PA) student and a graduate of Fordham University, with a BS in psychology and minors in disability studies and bioethics. Mira completed a fellowship at the National Disability Institute and the Autistic People of Color Fund focused on disability justice, economic justice, public policy, and neurodiversity. Mira aims to increase access to healthcare for underserved individuals, particularly those who are neurodivergent and disabled. She is biracial, disabled, neurodivergent, and wants to use her personal experiences to advocate for others with disabilities, particularly those with intersecting identities. Her interests include Broadway/musical theatre and jigsaw puzzles.
Natalie Burdsall (they/she)
Natalie Burdsall is a communications professional with a passion for disability justice. They recently graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a B.A. in Global Studies. Currently, Natalie works as a Communications Officer for the Center on Global Food and Agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In her work, she focuses on the intersections between food security and disability, and strives to improve the accessibility of the Council’s work.
Alexa De Alejandro (she/her)
Alexa De Alejandro is a 25-year-old Latina woman from Houston, TX. She is currently studying for a BA in psychology at the University of Houston. She has had the opportunity to work with the Baylor College of Medicine Transition program to help young adults transition to adulthood. She has also served on various advocacy panels representing youth with disabilities After graduation, Alexa plans to become a vocational rehab counselor to help people with disabilities live independently. In her free time, Alexa likes to volunteer at her church, sing, hang out with her friends and family, and play wheelchair tennis.
Marlon Moore (he/him)
Marlon Moore is currently a student at Georgia State University studying history and the founder of the clothing brand called The Con$cious Kid Brand. Marlon created The Con$cious Kid Brand after he gained an interest in fashion and noticed that fashion brands rarely represented people with various disabilities. So he decided to change that narrative.
There are three components that he is passionate about: disability pride, representation and inclusion. He believes that promoting disability pride in adolescents and young adults with disabilities is important to increase confidence in your skills, and disability representation and inclusion is important for people with disabilities to be able to share and see their perspective.
Marlon has volunteered in numerous outreach events involving the disability community which include being a panelist at Spelman College for a seminar on intellectual disabilities and the use of the “R” word which is unacceptable outside of the medical construct. He has also spoken at K-12 schools to discuss topics like understanding students’ disabilities. He has alsobeen a guest speaker on several podcasts and blogs. He was featured in the magazine Voyage ATL. He also founded and organized, alongside his mother, the Spina Bifida Support Group Of Gwinnett County Georgia.
Jessie Rogers (she/her)
Jesse Rogers is currently an enrollment specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. She attended East Tennessee State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. She is passionate about inclusion and equal rights for those with disabilities. This is especially important to her given her own visual impairment. She is also passionate about serving others, and served on the leadership team for a campus ministry for several years in college.
Dashiell Meier (he/him)
Dashiell Meier is a 19-year-old filmmaker, disability advocate and college student. He hosts a YouTube talk show called Playing Favorites and is launching a show about Down syndrome.
Dashiell is a National Down Syndrome Society Ambassador, a member of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project DIVERSE Taskforce, and a Center for Youth Voice and Youth Choice Ambassador. He loves Special Olympics as a multi sport athlete and Global Ambassador.
Dashiell lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and pets. He will travel to Brazil this fall as a member of the first U.S. National Down Syndrome Soccer/Futsal Team.
Skylar Clawson (she/her)
Hello, my name is Skylar Clawson. I am from Washington, Pennsylvania which is near Pittsburgh. Currently, I am living in Columbus, Ohio an undergraduate senior at The Ohio State University. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy Analysis as well as Political Science. I have previously interned for the Columbus Mayor’s Office Women’s Commission and the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort. I plan to pursue a career in government after attending graduate or law school.
Morgan Hanley (they/them)
My name is Morgane Hanley (they/them) and I am a 3rd year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. I am studying Conservation and Resource Studies and looking to pursue a career in climate-change research and solutions. I am passionate about disability education and advocacy. I am currently an ambassador for Take a Pain Check, a youth-lead nonprofit creating community for and giving voice to young people with rheumatic conditions. I want to be part of making my university and greater community an accepting and accessible place for those with disabilities, especially within the STEM field.
Aanuoluwapo Omoleye (she/her)
Aanuoluwapo Omoleye is a 2nd-year graduate student studying International Development with a concentration on Disability-Inclusive Development at Gallaudet University. Growing in Nigeria, she has worked with several youth-led and disability-led organizations to advance social justice. She recently completed her fellowship with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area and started her social enterprise – AbleBooks Africa.
Support the Fellowship
We can’t wait to see the incredible things that our fellows will achieve both during the DREAM Fellowship Program and beyond. If you would like to support the Dinah F. B. Cohen DREAM Fellowship Program and allow us to continue offering this valuable fellowship, please consider making a donation.
If you’d like to learn more about the fellowship and/or ways to get involved as a volunteer, you can reach out to Nicole Homerin at firstname.lastname@example.org.