Looking to give people with disabilities equal opportunities in the workplace, Susan Lang leads the Lime Connect Fellowship Program, which partners with Pepsi, Goldman Sachs, Target, Bloomberg and Google, to create a learning experience for some college sophomores.

The fellowship — founded in 2006 — is is a competitive program available to disabled sophomores at four-year universities across the United States and Canada. Eligible conditions range from physical disabilities to mental disorders, such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia.

“Some of (the students) have been struggling their whole life and had to really work harder to work past their disability,” Jennifer LaRusso-Leung, engagement manager for the fellowship, said. “The great thing is they’re sitting in class with you at some of these top schools, so they really are very intelligent students who are trying to persevere.”

At the end of each August, 40 students are chosen to go to New York City to be interviewed. Half of the interviewees move on and receive career advising as part of the fellowship.

A primary focus of the program is to help students boost confidence about obtaining desired employment opportunities. Students gain support and make friendships throughout the experience, but they also are part of a professional-training network.

“The goal is to prepare them for internships, connect them for the internships and, at the end of the day, to help them be successful in those roles so that they can get a full time offer upon graduation,” Lang explained.

While the coaching lasts only five days, those selected to be part of the program will always be considered a fellow. Alumni fellows also continue to act as mentors after participants graduate.

No individual with a disability should be discouraged to apply if they are interested, Lang said. Even if they are not selected to be fellows, all of the finalists still have the ability to be in the Lime Network.

At the fellowship’s annual symposium held in August, the group of fellows gathers together to share stories about their experiences.

“For me, it was more about learning about myself than anything,” Business junior Rohit Kapur said of his Lime Connect Fellowship experience. “A lot of people struggle talking to others about the problems they’re facing, and it made it so much easier for me to talk about it. I would say people should apply. I mean, it helps you be more comfortable with yourself.”

LSA junior Kiki Fox, who was accepted for the fellowship last year, wrote in an e-mail that the experience helped her prepare for recruiting processes and provides priceless networking opportunities.

“It was great to hear about the intricacies of each of the internship programs at the various companies, so we could get a feel for which companies might be a good fit.”

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