Kenna Chick: Oakland, CA
Kenna Chick is currently a rising senior at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service studying Culture and Politics with a minor in Disability Studies. Her greatest passion is mental health policy and advocacy, especially on destigmatizing mental illness and defending the rights of people with lived experience.
Kenna has served as both the Vice President of her student government, Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA), and the Chair of the GUSA Mental Health Policy Coalition, where she worked on many projects that focus on destigmatizing, educating, and eliminating barriers around mental health resources. One of her projects is to implement off-campus therapy stipends, as psychotherapy in the Washington, D.C. area is notoriously expensive and Georgetown University’s services are short-term. Furthermore, Kenna has served as a member of Mental Health America's first Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council, where she was featured in their college program report, Beyond Awareness: Student-led Innovation in Campus Mental Health. She has also served as a member of the Jed Foundation’s Student Advisory Council, where she taught technology and suicide prevention in collaboration with Facebook. Currently, she is the President of Project Lighthouse, an anonymous peer to peer chat-line that provides peer support and information about campus resources.
For Kenna, the Coelho Center Law Fellowship is a symbol of hope that there are many people interested in working together on a common goal to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Additionally, the program’s slogan of "Nothing Without Us!" resonates with her deeply as someone who has witnessed and experienced the erasure of people with disabilities in many areas, from academic institutions to advocacy spaces.
She believes that the fellowship is a valuable opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience to become a legal advocate for disability rights. It is the first step towards her exploration of the legal world of disability advocacy. Kenna expresses a strong desire to pursue a legal education and eventually work on impact litigation to create a more accessible world for people with disabilities, especially those with mental health conditions.
Kenna looks forward to having the opportunity to connect with our nation's leading disability advocates and learn from their experiences. Both the fellowship and legal education will provide her with the skills and tools needed to successfully implement institutional change.