Disability Advocate

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CATEGORY: Civic Engagement, Internships
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: Political Science

Student Kaitlin Roh '12 interned at PACER Center, which helps families who have children with disabilities.

Roh has received a Critical Language Scholarship from the State Department to study Arabic during the summer of 2011.

Chuck Green fellowships are seven-month fellowships run through the Political Science Department. Fellows participate in a spring semester political science seminar focused on analyzing and addressing community-based issues. The following summer, each fellow receives a $4,000 stipend to complete a full-time, on-site project at a community-based organization to implement the action plan developed in the spring.

Only 12 fellows—who must be either sophomores or juniors—are selected each year. One of this year’s fellows is rising junior Kaitlin Roh.

Name: Kaitlin Roh ’12

Hometown: Columbus, Neb.

Majors: Political science and educational studies

Project site: PACER Center, Bloomington, Minn.

What it is: The PACER Center (pacer.org) provides individual assistance, workshops, publications, and other resources to help families make decisions about education and other services for their child or young adult with disabilities.

Roh’s project: Working with PACER’s Family-to-Family Health Information and Advocacy Center, providing information to parents about various forms of health insurance and services for their child. A secondary project is to help update the center’s website.

Biggest surprise: “That even most doctors don’t know the types of insurance that are out there and what can be covered by government programs and services.”

Passionate coworkers: “Most people who work at the PACER Center have a child or a sibling with disabilities and have worked through the system themselves. They know what people need.”

What’s next? Roh will spend the fall semester in Amman, Jordan, on a Center taking part in an International Exchange and Education language and culture program.
Career plans? First she’ll teach for a few years. “There’s a huge gap between the educational policies put in place and what happens and is feasible in the classroom,” she says. Ultimately, she hopes to go into educational policy work.

PUBLISHED: 07/30/2010

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