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American Association of People with Disabilities and NBCUniversal Announce 2023 Recipients of NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship


September 07, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud to announce the selected recipients of its 2023 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship. Funded by NBCUniversal in partnership with AAPD, the Tony Coelho Media Scholarship annually selects  disabled higher education students who intend to pursue a wide range of careers in the media industry and who demonstrate commitment to authentic disability representation and inclusion in their chosen media field. The scholarship is named in honor of the esteemed former United States Representative, Tony Coelho, who played a pivotal role as the primary author and sponsor of the groundbreaking Americans with Disabilities Act.

This year’s seven recipients of the 2023 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship were chosen for their demonstrated knowledge and passion in media industries of all kinds. The selection process considers applicants’ commitment and contributions to enhancing disability representation in the media, as well as their own visionary ambitions to authentically include and engage the disability community in their careers.

“We greatly value our continued partnership with The American Association of People with Disabilities, The Tony Coelho Media Scholarship, and its focus on disability inclusion,” said Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at NBCUniversal. “It’s gratifying to see the industry acknowledging the long-overdue need for increased and authentic representation of people with disabilities in media. It remains a priority for NBCUniversal across all of our platforms and we salute the excellence of this year’s Tony Coelho Media Scholarship recipients.”

AAPD Programs Director, Christine Liao, stated, “This year’s remarkable recipients reflect the importance of meaningful representation of our diverse community. We look forward to uplifting and amplifying these leaders’ work in the years to come and are eager to witness their future accomplishments, in collaboration with our amazing partners at NBCUniversal. AAPD is grateful for NBCUniversal’s ongoing commitment and partnership to support these talented students’ ambitions and the vital work of authentic disability storytelling and representation in the communications, media, and entertainment industry.”

During the 2023-2024 period, NBCUniversal and AAPD will collaborate to provide a range of opportunities to support the growth of scholarship recipients in both their academic pursuits and career advancement. NBCUniversal will facilitate engaging panels, discussions on pathways to involvement with NBCUniversal, resources tailored for early career professionals, and foster collaboration among the scholarship cohort. AAPD will provide nationwide and community-wide exposure within the disability community, chances to connect with previous scholarship recipients, and avenues for collaboration with fellow program participants.

Award recipients each receive $5,625 to help cover the cost of education at their current college or university. 

Please join us in congratulating the seven (7) recipients for the 2023 NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship! 

  • Taiwo Adebowale (she/they), Howard University
  • Melina List (they/them), Emerson College
  • Gabrielle Whyte (she/her), University of South Florida
  • Devon Woodfine (he/him), California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Fennik Lindstedt (they/ve), Hofstra University
  • Kadesha Treco (she/her), University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
  • Ruby Lee (she/her), Pratt Institute

More information about the NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship, including the full bios for the 2023 recipients can be found at