Sep 20, 2023

Meet the 2023 Eye to Eye Fellows!

Thousands of students answer the call to serve each year by joining Eye to Eye as mentors, mentees, ambassadors, and advocates for all neurodiverse people. While most of Eye to Eye’s work takes place in classrooms across the country, our Founders’ Fellowship Program allows exceptional Young Adults to complete in-depth independent research projects specific to the neurodiversity landscape. All of our Fellows researched the intersections of neurodiversity, race, and how members from these communities experience things differently. 

Each Fellow has worked closely with either Eye to Eye’s CEO, David Flink, or President, Marcus Soutra, this summer to design, research, and implement a project they chose. We thank the 2023 Eye to Eye Fellows Brooke Fidler, Carina Taveras, Samantha Pfeffer, and Shoshana Holt-Auslander. The Fellows and their projects are highlighted below!

Brooke Fidler

Brooke Fidler is currently in her third year at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, majoring in psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. In her project, Brooke sought to understand the neurodiverse ways of the mind and how it operates. While at Upper Arlington High School, Brooke was an Eye to Eye mentor and later became her high school’s Chapter Leader. When asked about her time during the Fellowship, Brooke said, “This fellowship gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my childhood and reflect back on how my neurodiversities affected me and helped me grow into who I am today.” Click here to see more about her project.

Shoshana Holt-Auslander

Shoshana is currently a student at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, obtaining a dual master’s degree in Social Work and Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit management. Shoshana previously received a BA in French Literature/Linguistics from Colorado College and was an Eye to Eye Mentor at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. During her research, Shoshanna was surprised to learn that the French language does not allow for person-first language and hopes that a shift in the language gives people with disabilities in France more agency. Shoshana has made a strong impact on our community and wants to take her learnings and experience from this fellowship and bring it to graduate school.

Samantha Pfeffer

Samantha is a senior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, majoring in media and communication with a minor in business. Samantha is new to Eye to Eye but has left an impact on our community. During her fellowship, she was able to dig into and research the relationship between anxiety and dyslexia. Samantha created and produced a film about her fellowship findings. This allowed Samantha to research and dissect a topic that was relevant to her while also growing her skills as a journalist and documentarian. She got a better understanding of the journalistic process by interviewing experts in the mental health and neurodiversity fields. 

Carina Taveras

Carina is a Special Education Teacher Aid at the Edgar Allen Poe School in the Bronx. She graduated Cum Laude from Hunter College-CUNY in New York City with a bachelor of arts in Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino studies. Carina has long been a champion for our community and was a Chapter Leader at Hunter College-CUNY before launching her career. Carina brought incredible insights and knowledge to this fellowship as she is currently working with neurodiverse students and wants to take what she learned and apply it to a Ph.D. program. When asked about her fellowship, she said, “My overall experience as a fellow was amazing. It truly was a full circle moment and continuing professional growth. I learned new research skills and a deeper understanding of the importance of intersectionality and neurodiversity in academia. In addition, I got to reconnect with one of my old campers who now interns for Eye to Eye while at the University of Denver for the OI.” Click here to see more about her project.

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