I wrote a new Linkedin bio and I’m super proud of it, so I figured I’d share:
Derek Schmitz (they/them) is a 17-year-old, disabled, queer, and non-binary advocate, author, and student. They have an interest in public policy and legislative work.
They are currently working with the Autoimmune Community Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to improving health equity in those with autoimmune conditions. They are also working within the Council of State Government’s Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth (CAPE-Youth), a Department of Labor initiative which seeks to improve employment outcomes for disabled youth and young adults. Derek also works with Neighborhood Access LLC, a New Hampshire-based, all-disabled, nonprofit organization focused on making community-facing organizations accessible.
Aside from their affiliations, Derek does personal advocacy and community outreach through their large Twitter community (@derekischmitz) and website (derekschmitz.com). Most of their original work includes highlighting inadequacies of programs like Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare. They also share their experiences being queer and non-binary and issues with queer safety in some areas.
Derek has written and published two young-adult fiction novels, one being an action/suspense thriller, and the other being a queer and disabled romance. They have also written and published a brief research paper on health literacy, and are working to publish an analysis of physician-assisted suicide practices.
In addition to their work and authorship, Derek is still a student. They are a junior at Oxford High School with a 2.9 GPA. They are a dual-enrollment student at Jacksonville State University, where they have earned a 4.0 GPA.
Derek is driven, organized, approachable, and kind. They would make a valuable addition to any team or organization.