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Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee, M.D., is a pediatric neurologist, director of the neurodevelopmental clinic and director of medical research at the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu. He was born and raised in Hawaii, received undergraduate degrees in both biology and English from Creighton University. He earned his medical degree from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Lee completed his residency in pediatrics at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and the University of Hawaii, as well as a residency/post-doctoral fellowship in child neurology and neurodevelopmental disabilities at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo: Ryan Lee

Xavier R. Peña

Director of Training, Clinical Psychology Residency Training Program, Tripler Army Medical Center. MAJ Peña focuses on post-doctoral military psychology residents as they continue towards licensure and becoming competent, autonomous, and fully-functional independent practitioners. MAJ Peña also prepares the residents for better understanding of military systems as well as possible future opportunities as special staff officers to unit commanders, clinic OICs, and other potential positions as Army officers. MAJ Peña completed his internship at Tripler Army Medical Center and his post-doctoral residency as a Battalion psychologist with the 25th Aviation Brigade. Following Residency MAJ Peña was selected into the 75th Ranger Regiment and served as the Command Psychologist for almost 5 years.  In this position he served in dual roles and the unit clinical psychologist and the sole operational psychologist for the unit. He has deployed numerous times in support of the Special Operation community and has a wealth of specialized training. MAJ Peña’s interests are in neuropsychology, positive psychology, anxiety disorders, and organizational and operational psychology.

Photo: Xavier Pena

Jacque Phillips

Jacque Phillips, PhD, is an attorney in Colorado. The Law Office of Dr. Jacque Phillips works to get students with disabilities educational services. Concurrently, Dr. Phillips works on cases involving the school-to-prison pipeline. She works in Administrative Court, Municipal Court and Juvenile Court to help students with disabilities stay in school and out of the juvenile “justice” system. With a doctorate in special education, Dr. Phillips formerly worked for several universities including the University of Northern Colorado, Adams State University, Lehigh University and the University of Hawaii. She is the co-author of the award-winning “Preventing Litigation in Special Education Workbook.” She is licensed to practice law in Colorado and Washington, DC.  She is currently serving on her local City Council, as an elected official, and is a candidate for Colorado State Rep. in 2018.

Photo: Jacque Phillips

Raphael Travis

Raphael Travis’s research, practice and consultancy work emphasizes positive youth development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates music, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being in people's lives. Dr. Travis is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Director at Texas State University in the School of Social Work.
Photo: Raphael Travis

Amy Coleman

Amy Coleman, MD is CEO and Founder of Wellsmart and is author of the book, “Discovering Your Own Doctor Within.” Coleman has taken care of people in all sorts of places: on airplanes, boats, and battlefields, in the wilderness, schools and in homes. She’s helped people receive care in countries where there was no formal system for access to primary care doctors.
Photo: Amy Coleman

Jessica Fechtor

Jessica Fechtor is an author, blogger and PhD candidate in Jewish Literature at Harvard University, where she has received numerous awards for her research and teaching. Her bestselling memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home won the 2015 Living Now Book Award and drew critical acclaim from The Wall Street Journal, and The Forward, among other outlets.
Photo: Jessica Fechtor

Employment and Disability

According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 386 million of the global working-age population live with disability, and unemployment is up to 80 percent for this group in some countries. For persons with disabilities and for workers who become disabled on the job, access to employment is often hindered by discriminatory practices and attitudes. Many individuals with disability are further burdened with an interrelated set of disadvantages involving education, health and economic class.


Spanning prenatal development to age eight, early childhood provides the building blocks for learning and participation throughout an individual’s life. The first one-thousand days of a baby’s life are the most critical to the development of neural pathways that lead to positive outcomes later on. Regardless of the circumstances they are born into, all children require support in order to grow into their full potential and realize their individual strengths.

Illuminations: Growing Old with Dignity

Never in history have so many people lived so long. Thanks to leaps in medical science, technology and economic opportunity, this includes individuals who have acquired disability earlier in life as well as the general population aging into disability. Challenges and opportunities abound. How can families and guardians, clinicians and support staff provide the care our diverse elderly communities require?

Youth Reach

Young people with or without disabilities want what all young people want: a chance to learn, work and connect. Today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow, the ones who will be at the forefront and contributing to the well-being of their communities when today’s leaders have passed on. Yet why are so many of today’s youth on a narrow and marginalized path to their future? Up to one in five youth in the United States experience a mental health challenge each year, and a whopping 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice institutions have some sort of disability.


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