Made possible by a generous gift from the Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation, the Shapiro Family Scholarship will support one or more students in the Disability Studies minor, to be selected annually based on strong academic achievement and commitment both to the field of disability studies and to working as an advocate on issues of importance to the disability community.


The Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation was founded in 1984 by Ralph and Shirley Shapiro and their children, Alison and Peter, and Peter serves as foundation president. Through their foundation, the Shapiro family has generously supported medical and environmental research, as well as education, arts and children’s welfare programs, including initiatives that serve children with developmental disabilities and their families. The Shapiro Family are legendary leaders and philanthropists to UCLA. They remain intricately involved in UCLA activities, supporting the university in a variety of capacities and maintaining a lifelong commitment to helping the Bruin family. Their contributions have helped to make UCLA a world-class institution, accessible to students in current and future generations.




Award Amount: $7750 (one award or split into multiple awards)

Eligibility Criteria:
Recipients of the Disability Studies fall scholarships are selected based on (1) strong academic achievement, (2) commitment to the field of disability studies and (3) to working as an advocate on issues of importance to the disability community. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must have:

      1. A 3.0 cumulative GPA;
      2. Admittance to the UCLA Disability Studies minor;
      3. Completed or currently enrolled in Disability Studies 101W and;
      4. Completed or currently enrolled in at least one elective course for the minor.

Application instructions:
1. In a single PDF document, include the following two items:

  • An essay not to exceed 750 words (3 double-spaced pages) that describes your experience working in the disability community to date and discusses how the Disability Studies minor has influenced (or how you envision it will influence) the direction of your academic career and future plans. If applicable, please include a discussion of your internship and/or capstone research plans.
  • A current resume

Save the PDF in the following format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Application.pdf
  • Ex: Block_Gene_Application.pdf

2. Obtain a copy of your unofficial transcript and save it in the following format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Transcript.pdf
  • Block_Gene_Transcript.pdf

Email both files to the Disability Studies Fall Scholarship Committee*. Your application materials will be automatically uploaded to a drive once they are received.

Confirmation email:

You will receive a confirmation email for each file when your application materials have been successfully uploaded. Important: If you do not receive a confirmation email or if you are having issues uploading your application, please send application materials to Charlotte Vo at cvo@college.ucla.edu.

*Your application materials should be sent directly to the committee via the following email address: Fall_20.6ywqkdgpjljitdsd@u.box.com

Application Deadline: Monday, November 8, 2021, at 11:59pm

Note to Non-DS Minors: Students who are not yet admitted to the minor may submit their application to the minor at the same time as their application for the scholarship—but their scholarship application will only be reviewed AFTER admission to the minor is confirmed.



Thanks to the generous support of the Shapiro Charitable Family Foundation, UCLA Disability Studies is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Fall Disability Studies Scholarships.

The Shapiro Family Scholarship  aims to celebrate the strides made by our students, who have been agents of change on this campus and beyond. Quinn O’Connor, Nicole Jacobs, and Juliette Lerner were the winners of the 2020 Shapiro Family Scholarship – they will receive an award of $3,000, $2,300, and $1,000 respectively.

Quinn, Nicole, and Juliette to the top of the applicant pool through the connections they drew between disability studies scholarship, their goals and advocacy efforts.


Photo of Quinn O’Connor from the shoulders up. She is wearing a light gray turtleneck with small red, dangling earrings. She has short, black hair. She is pictured smiling against a green bush and brick wall.

Quinn O’Connor is a third-year Theater Major with a minor in Disability Studies. During her time at UCLA, Quinn’s advocacy has focused on community building within the disability community as well as access and inclusion at UCLA and beyond. Quinn is the Co-Founder of the Disabled Student Union at UCLA and currently is one of the UCLA Representatives on the UC-Wide Ad Hoc Committee on Disability. As the Chief of Staff of the USAC Facilities Commission, Quinn led a collaborative effort between UCLA Facilities, IT, and the University Committee on Disability to create a UCLA Interactive Map with accessible route navigation and bathroom markers, set to launch in Summer/Fall 2021. As someone who works within the Theater field, Quinn is currently collaborating with East West Players, a regional theatre in downtown Los Angeles, to craft and improve on disability access initiatives within their theatrical programming. Further, Quinn recently co-wrote an article on ableist and racist tendencies within theatrical environments that was published on HowlRound.com. Quinn hopes to conduct a capstone research project on disability representation in American Theater. After graduating, Quinn hopes to continue working at the intersection of theatre and disability access, both in audience experience and broader representation.


Image shows Nicole Jacobs smiling, wearing a light grey pinstripe blazer and white ribbed shirt under. She has fair skin, blue eyes, and light brown/blonde wavy hair.

Nicole Jacobs is a graduating senior majoring in Physiological Sciences and minoring in
Disability Studies. She is the current president of Best Buddies at UCLA and is the only college
student representative at Best Buddies International Headquarters. As president of Best Buddies, she is learning new ways to support individuals with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing resources and social support. As a Best Buddies International Headquarters representative, she is organizing volunteer networks to advocate for inclusion and equality for individuals with disabilities, while also creating curriculum centered around teaching youth about disability studies concepts. To combine her passion for medicine and advocacy, Nicole volunteers at the UC LEND Clinic, where she is working towards disrupting the paternalism in medicine and helping healthcare professionals understand the impacts of COVID-19 on families with children with disabilities. Nicole plans to combine her understanding of a social concept of disability with her background in medicine in order to provide quality care and research for a community that is often misunderstood by the medical community.


Portrait of Juliette Lerner from the waist up. She has long brown curly hair and is wearing a white dress shirt with a black blazer. She is pictured smiling in front of a brick corridor background.

Juliette Lerner is a graduating senior with a major in Psychology and a minor in Disability Studies. During her time at UCLA, Juliette has discovered her passion for supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in achieving their goals. She has been a behavioral coach in the UCLA PEERS Clinic, where she coaches youth with ASD on forming meaningful relationships and accessing employment opportunities, since her older brother completed the program in her sophomore year. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she started a virtual social group to give current PEERS teens and alumni a safe space to connect, socialize, and practice the skills they have learned amid the isolating times. This year, she has also undertaken a project investigating employers’ perspectives on autism in the workplace which aims to assess some of the barriers and facilitators to meaningful employment for young adults with ASD. In addition, Juliette enjoys giving back to the community in her role as a tailored services mentor of the non-profit organization IGNITE Collective, Inc., which provides individualized supports to adults with developmental disabilities across Los Angeles County. After her undergraduate studies, Juliette plans to become a licensed psychologist and start her own non-profit organization, based in neurodiversity model ideals, that provides accessible services to youth and adults with ASD.

Lily Shaw – 2019

Major: Political Science

Isita Tripati – 2019

Major: Neuroscience