The NextGen Initiatives empower college students and recent grads with disabilities, including veterans, to be successful in the workplace.
Disability:IN NextGen Leaders have the opportunity to connect with leading brands across all industries. Students are matched one-on-one with mentors from Disability:IN Corporate Partners and experience an all-expense paid trip to the Disability:IN Annual Conference where NextGen Leaders network and interview with companies like Boeing, Facebook, JPMorgan Chase, and Microsoft.
NextGen Leader commitment:
- Meet virtually twice a month for six months with a corporate mentor
- Participate in monthly professional development webinars
- Attend the Disability:IN 2020 Conference on July 11–16 at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, FL. NextGen Leaders are expected to actively participate in all conference events. If accepted to the program, all travel costs will be covered.
Become a 2020 NextGen Leader
Applications open October 1st, 2019; the first day of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Any undergraduate student, law student, graduate student, or recent graduate from a US college or university who self-identifies as an individual with any type of disability is invited to apply.
Individuals that are not US citizens are welcome to participate in this program if:
- they are a current student at or recent graduate of US college or university and
- they have the proper work authorization documents.
Disability:IN does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, disability and marital status. We highly encourage students of color, LGBTQ+; students, women, and veterans to apply for our programs.
- What are the benefits in participating in the NextGen Leaders program?
- Throughout the program, you’ll have access to recruiters and leaders from our Fortune 500 Disability:IN corporate partners. You’ll get the chance to review your resume and perfect your elevator pitch. Additionally, you’ll get the inside scoop on upcoming leadership and employment opportunities. During our Conference, you’ll have exclusive facilitated networking sessions with our corporate partners. Overall, our program is a great opportunity to enhance your professional development skills and connect with a mentor that will work with you in achieving your career goals.
- Will I get a job by participating in the NextGen Leaders program?
- Potentially! The primary purpose of the program is to strengthen students’ professional skills and expand their network into the private sector. Some of the Disability:IN corporate partners host on-site career mentoring days, job shadowing, and interviews just for NextGen Leaders. Additionally, at the Conference at the end of the program, there are opportunities to leave the conference with a job offer. NextGen Leaders have had an average employment rate of 86%.
- Will I be able to connect to other students with disabilities in this program?
- Yes. We conduct virtual events and meetings so that all student participants can connect. And the Conference at the end of the program will bring together all program participants in person for a two-day networking and career development program.
- Do I have to have a disability to participate as a NextGen Leader?
- Yes. Disability:IN is a cross-disability organization that promotes opportunities for people with all types of disabilities. You will not be required to disclose your specific disability; however, your application for this program will signify that you consider yourself a person with a disability
- How long is the NextGen Leader program?
- The NextGen Leaders program begins with a six-month mentorship with a Disability:IN corporate partner and culminates in our two-day interview and networking program at our Annual Conference. The upcoming program will run from February 3rd – July 31, 2020.
- What is the expected time commitment for Leaders?
- The amount of time that mentors and mentees spend together varies based on time availability and activities being completed. However, we encourage our mentors and mentees to meet twice a month via email, phone, or in person. There are recommended activities we provide that we hope the matched pairs will use as a guideline for topics to discuss. Additionally, once a month there will be a webinar for all Leaders to attend.
- What does it cost to participate?
- NOTHING! Your time, attention, commitment and enthusiasm are all that’s needed. Disability:IN will work with corporate sponsors and state vocational rehabilitation agencies (if you have a VR counselor) to fund conference fees and travel expenses.
- Where can I get an accessible PDF about the program?
- Can I stay in contact with my mentor after the program ends?
- Yes! We encourage our participants to have long-term mentoring relationships.
- If I already have a mentor, should I still participate in the NextGen Leaders program?
- Yes. It is beneficial to have multiple mentors throughout your career, and our program can connect you with a mentor who has knowledge about working in the private sector.
- Will I be matched with a mentor who lives in my city?
- We try to match mentors and mentees who live in the same city in order to promote in-person meetings and job shadowing opportunities. If location matches are not possible, we will try to match by career field, interests or degree program.
Want to become a NextGen Leader? Applications open October 1, 2019.