Nathaniel, a second-year Barrett Honors College student at Arizona State University (ASU), is also a Flinn Scholar, a prestigious honor for Arizona students that assists students in providing world-class undergraduate education in partnership with the state's public universities. Driven by the positive impact he seeks to make on the world and passion for learning, he is actively pursuing four majors and a minor, while engaging in internships and academic research. All of Nathaniel's work centers on community partnerships. Over the last six months, he has worked closely with other students, ASU staff and faculty through Luminosity Lab, a prominent research and development lab that partners with external organizations to develop and prototype innovative solutions to local and societal challenges. Nathaniel holds the position of Vice President for Network Engagement with ASU's Greenlight Solutions Chapter, where he identifies and connects with targeted businesses to develop more environmentally-friendly solutions. He is an intern for Creosote Partners Lobbying Firm where he spends his time focused on value-based community advocacy, including working with clients promoting criminal justice reform, healthcare access and environmental justice. Nathaniel volunteers his time as a mentor to children that are dealing with health issues and builds relationships within the community.
My passion and previous work all center around service and advocacy. Growing up, my mother instilled the value of giving back to my community, beginning with hospital toy drives in my kindergarten classroom. When diagnosed with a serious health condition at age 8, I gained a new community to advocate for. My disability advocacy efforts have led me to everything from writing a children's book about my disorder to raising thousands for hospital music programs. Most recently, I created an online support group and mentorship program for children with my disorder to ensure they never feel alone in dealing with their condition. The program now has over 100 members and includes groups run by my family for siblings and parents of children with my disorder. Throughout my life, I have faced institutional barriers and discrimination based on my disability status. The knowledge that my work today will help pave the way for people with disabilities in future generations pushes me to overcome these challenges. The disability community continues to face disproportionate effects of job and education discrimination, environmental injustice, and poverty; there will always be more work to be done, and I will be advocating every step of the way.