Walmart Awards $600,000 to AAPD for Internship Program Dec 31, 2010

Money to fund leadership opportunities for students with disabilities in the nation's capital

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is excited to announce the investment of $600,000 from Walmart, with support from the Walmart Foundation, to support a significant expansion of AAPD's internship opportunities in public service for students with disabilities.

Working together over the next two years, AAPD and Walmart will build the new AAPD Summer Internship Program with opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and law students with all types of disabilities from all around the country to intern with members of Congress, Congressional Committees, the Executive Branch, federal agencies and offices of government affairs. AAPD and Walmart firmly believe that a key to professional, personal, and academic success for students with disabilities can be the life-changing experience of a Washington, D.C. summer internship. 

AAPD is building on its pilot Congressional and Federal IT internship programs, sponsored by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) and Microsoft, respectively, over the past 10 years. 

"Together we have learned the tremendous impact these internship opportunities can have on the lives and futures of young people with disabilities, and AAPD is thrilled to expand these opportunities through our new program and partnership with Walmart," said Helena Berger, AAPD's Acting President & CEO.  "Walmart's grant is the largest single investment in the history of AAPD."

For 10 years, AAPD has offered Congressional and federal agency summer internships to  undergraduate students, placing more than 125 interns with all types of disabilities in Washington internships. This new partnership with Walmart will allow AAPD to grow exponentially its Washington, D.C. Summer Internship Program, hosting 28 interns this summer, and many more in future years. The AAPD internship program will now also be open to college students, law students and other graduate and professional students with disabilities, and will offer a wider group of young leaders with disabilities exposure to careers in public service and government.

"Walmart's support will enable AAPD to expand the leadership opportunities for students with disabilities that are so critical to the empowerment of our next generation of the disability community," said Tony Coelho, AAPD's Board Chair.  "With this grant, we're re-envisioning Washington internships for those with disabilities and launching a new internship model in the disability community."

With Walmart's grant and the continued support of the HSC Foundation and MEAF, AAPD is able to invest and radically expand this unique and innovative internship program. Walmart's grant also represents the largest single investment in the history of AAPD.

"Walmart is not just invested in creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities, but also helping cultivate its young leaders to be the future of the disability community," said Crosby Cromwell, Walmart's Senior Manager of Constituent Relations.  "Our grant to AAPD will help make this a reality, and give even more future leaders with disabilities a chance to demonstrate their capacity, skills, and potential to become our nation's leaders."

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country's largest cross-disability membership organization, organizes the disability community to be a powerful voice for change – politically, economically, and socially.  AAPD was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more, visit the AAPD website:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. To learn more, visit

SOURCE American Association of People With Disabilities

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