Reflections on My Time at the Autoimmune Community Institute as I Exit

Today was my last day at the Autoimmune Community Institute after 13 months of amazing work with the most dedicated team of hardworking volunteers I have ever met. I was Outreach Coordinator. I wish I didn't have to leave, I love my position, but I needed to prioritize my energy and refocus on my mental… Continue reading Reflections on My Time at the Autoimmune Community Institute as I Exit

I Am Professional (a repost of my recent LinkedIn campaign)

I recently participated in the #IAmProfessional Linkedin campaign and wanted to share my contribution here. "Hey LinkedIn universe, #IAmProfessional! I am 17. I am queer. I am non-binary. I am disabled, both mentally and physically. I wear makeup. I attend meetings in t-shirts with galaxy backgrounds. I work from bed sometimes. But still, I am… Continue reading I Am Professional (a repost of my recent LinkedIn campaign)

Email Disclaimers

Hey, y'all! I wanted to publicize the full texts of my disability and confidentiality email disclaimers, free for modification, in case you might find them helpful! Confidentiality disclaimer (in email signature): IMPORTANT: The contents of this message and any attachments are confidential. They are intended for the named recipient(s) only. If you have received this… Continue reading Email Disclaimers

New Executive Professional Summary (Jan 2022)

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… Continue reading New Executive Professional Summary (Jan 2022)

Being Offered a Seat at the Table as a Young Disability Advocate

My name is Derek. I’m a 17-year-old non-binary, queer disabled advocate. I’ve had cerebral palsy (what I like to refer to as floppy muscles) since I was born, so I’ve always been disabled. I’ve also recently been diagnosed with spondyloarthritis and a couple of other autoimmune conditions (commonly referred to as my angry joints). These… Continue reading Being Offered a Seat at the Table as a Young Disability Advocate