“They truly believe an individual with a disability brings much value to their company”
Guest blog: Joe Brown, recent Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina graduate and active job seeker
The Rising Leadership Academy (RLA) began on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Hotel in Orlando, Fla. To give it a one-word description, I would call it encouraging.
I am a recent graduate, who went through college without knowing many of the service resources or employment accommodations available. I attended classes with every other student being able-bodied. Something that crossed my mind many times, and I’m sure others with disabilities have thought same thing: “What company would want to hire me?”
But then came the RLA.
I absolutely loved hearing from the Going for the Gold companies. They are actually looking specifically for individuals with disabilities to hire! They spoke about their accommodation processes. One could tell by the way they spoke; they truly believe an individual with a disability brings much value to their company. I thought, “maybe I am not slaving myself in school for ultimate failure.” That was so uplifting.
There is also the social aspect of the RLA.
I attended the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (UNC). I am one of the first, if not the first person, at UNC in a wheelchair to major at this prestigious business school. Being among geniuses, I often felt I was alone in my struggles to balance my desire for employment and actually finding it.
I’m not… at all…
There are so many highly qualified individuals at the RLA, with disabilities, who are looking for employment. It is fantastic to meet so many like-minded and physically similar individuals to myself. I have definitely made some new friends over the past three days.
If there is a company out there struggling to find qualified candidates for employment, I definitely recommend looking into the Rising Leaders Class of 2016 or the many others with disabilities looking for jobs. Also, please get involved with the USBLN in the future.
The Tar Heel
“It is our abilities that count and not our disability”
The USBLN conference was the best conference I have ever attended in my entire life. I was so excited to meet new people, especially the rising leaders of 2016.
Lessons learned from the Rising Leadership Academy
Guest blog: Joe Brown, recent Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina graduate and active job seeker The central focus of the USBLN Conference in Orlando, Florida spanning the days of Sept. 19-22 was disability inclusiveness in the workplace. It was truly an amazing experience. First, I want to talk about the breakout sessions. Although they were […]
“I was in a room with 900+ people who all were interested in increasing their inclusion and diversity”
With a few days post-conference, to digest and process the events of the past five days. It really hit me what an amazing experience attending the USBLN’s 19th Annual Conference was. The Rising Leader Academy was an incredible experience!
“Companies want to hire people with disabilities”
Guest blog: Robin Jenks Vanderlip, BA, MCBIET, MG, Rising Leadership Academy participant and George Washington University Fellow, Rehabilitation Counseling and Brain Injury Education
“I can unequivocally say that it has changed my life. I feel liberated.”
The first time I got information on the USBLN Rising Leaders mentoring program I was on the verge of breaking down emotionally. I felt like there was nothing out there for me despite how hard I have worked to get to where I am. I will tell a little bit of my story in the hope that it motivates or inspires anyone that reads it.