Jennifer Thomas

Youth Development Specialist

thomasj@iel.org
202 822-8405, ext 162

Jennifer Thomas is the Youth Development Specialist for the National Collaborative for Workforce and Disability forYouth (NCWD/Youth) in the Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership. She is responsible for coordinating the youth development and leadership strand of the NCWD/Youth. Currently, her primary focus is to steer the Youth Action Council on Transition (Youth ACT). Youth ACT is a new national project geared toward getting more youth with disabilities involved as leaders. Jennifer will provide support to these teams of youth leaders, adult partners, and sponsoring organizations who will work together to improve transition outcomes for youth.

Most recently Jennifer worked as the Project Director for National Kids As Self-Advocates (KASA), a project of National Family Voices, Incorporated where she provided support to youth advocates across the country. ¬†She has served on KASA’s National Advisory Board, and as an alumnus of the 2012 Mobility International USA’s US/Jordan: Young Women with Disabilities Leadership Exchange Program, she had the opportunity to share ideas and strategies with professional women from both the United States and Jordan on improving the lives of women and young girls with varying disabilities in Amman, Jordan. Jennifer is a former educator for Montgomery Public Schools of Alabama and was also the very first State Youth Consultant for Children’s Rehabilitation Service (CRS), a division of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. She was appointed to the State Rehabilitation Council of Alabama and served on the steering committee for the Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum for High School Students with Disabilities, as well as several other committees and task forces.

Jennifer has a congenital disability and was first formally introduced to self-advocacy as a delegate for the Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum for High School Students with Disabilities in 2001.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Alabama State University, December 2005.

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