2021 - 2022 Heumann-Armstrong Award Winners

2021 - 2022 Heumann-Armstrong Award Winners

The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation, Equal Opportunities for Students, and the American Association of People with Disabilities are excited to honor the winners of the 2021-2022 Heumann-Armstrong Award. This inaugural award, created this year in part with funding from AAPD’s Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award, gives $1000 awards to students with disabilities who have experienced and fought against ableism in education.

This year’s winners are:

  • Himani Hitendra, California Virtual Academies
  • Mercy Botchway, Everett High School
  • Otto Lana, Fusion Academy
  • Jennifer Lee, Princeton University
  • Luca Sax, Lewis & Clark College
  • Nahime Aguirre Mtanous, University of Chicago, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice

All six of the winners will do interviews which will, in part, be illustrated by Access Gallery.

International disability rights activist Judy Heumann said of the winners, “I am so proud of the wonderful work these Fellows are doing to advance the rights of disabled students."

We would also like to acknowledge the six semi-finalists who were selected, and will each receive a $100 gift card.

  • Jordyn Zimmerman, Boston College
  • Colby Spangler, University of Alabama
  • Alexandra “Zandy” Wong, Johns Hopkins University
  • Ashley Petersen, Villanova University
  • Shruthi Rajkumar, Emerson College
  • Monica Mesecar, University of Notre Dame

 “We had a lot of great applicants and selecting our final six was a hard task, but I’m excited with the finalists we’ve selected, and I can’t wait to work with them this year! Congrats to Himani, Mercy, Otto, Jennifer, Luca, and Nahime,” said Elijah Armstrong, founder of Equal Opportunities for Students and winner of AAPD’s Paul Hearne Emerging Leader Award in 2021.

Headshot of Himani smiling at the camera.

Himani Hitendra

California Virtual Academies

Headshot of Mercy smiling at the camera.

Mercy Botchway

Everett High School

Headshot of Otto smiling at the camera.

Otto Lana

Fusion Academy

Headshot of Jennifer smiling at the camera.

Jennifer Lee

Princeton University

Headshot of Luca smiling at the camera.

Luca Sax

Lewis & Clark College

Headshot of Nahime smiling at the camera.

Nahime Aguirre Mtanous

University of Chicago, Crown Family School of Social Work

Headshot of Jordyn smiling at the camera.

Jordyn Zimmerman

Boston College

Headshot of Colby smiling at the camera.

Colby Spangler

University of Alabama

Headshot of Zandy smiling at the camera

Alexandra “Zandy” Wong

Johns Hopkins University

Headshot of Ashley smiling at the camera.

Ashley Petersen

Villanova University

Headshot of Shruti smiling at the camera.

Shruthi Rajkumar

Emerson College

Headshot of Monica smiling at the camera.

Monica Mesecar

University of Notre Dame