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LEAP Program 2021: Session 1, Day 2

Thank you

Thank you for participating in LEAP!


Today is a day filled with lots of information and fun activities! Topics to be discussed include how to use the strengths we discussed last evening to communicate well with others, to use technology to your advantage, to begin to think about what happens after high school graduation. It's going to be a great day!


  • Gayla Guignard MA, CCC-A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

    Gayla Guignard, M.A., CCC-A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT has served as AG Bell’s Chief Strategy & Programs Officer since September, 2015. Gayla has worked as a direct service provider, clinical audiology and speech-language pathology supervisor, State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Coordinator, and as the inaugural director of Indiana’s Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education (CDHHE). She has served in numerous leadership roles on national committees and work groups and has presented on Listening and Spoken Language and related topics internationally. Gayla’s current work is focused on bringing knowledge forward about listening and spoken language and related areas for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She is deeply interested in systems that serve families and individuals and seeks to be involved in systems change as a way to realize potential and improve outcomes for all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • Catharine McNally

    Catharine McNally has been a LOFT counselor since 2008 and is the past Chair of the AG Bell Board. McNally is a dedicated advocate for using technology to bridge the accessibility divide – constantly finding new uses for accessibility. Her influential work has been recognized through national leadership awards, honors, and national publications. In 2011, McNally was listed as "People to Watch" in the Washingtonian Magazine's Tech Titans feature, and the recipient of the American Association of People with Disabilities national leadership award. She lost her hearing at eight months old, learned Cued Speech at eighteen months old and received her first cochlear implant at the age of three. After graduating from Wake Forest University, she began her career in accessibility at VSA Arts, the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. she moved up to Washington, DC to begin a career in technology and accessibility leadership. McNally is a product manager for Phase2 Technology, and to fulfill her continuous entrepreneurial spirit, is the owner and operator of a CrossFit affiliate in Alexandria, VA. During her (rare) free time you can find her on the golf course, trail running, or spending time with friends.

  • Julie Schulte, MA

    Julie Schulte, MA is AG Bell's Teen Programs Coordinator. Julie is an audiologist by training and has a sister who is deaf. She has experience in working with children of all ages and their families as a direct service provider. In addition, Julie has been involved in system’s development in her past role as a State EHDI Coordinator.

  • Ceil Weatherman

    Purpose: To radiate possibility through exceptional service and loving support.

    Ceil is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach & Employee Engagement Champion with 35+ years non-profit leadership experience. She consults with individuals, families, teams and all types of organizations. Using proven methods, she helps stakeholders understand and unleash potential that fosters collaboration and propels excellence.

    Ceil has experience working with leaders of all ages. She understands the challenges presented by remote working, organizational realignment and job elimination due to downsizing. She has navigated all three successfully by investing in and leveraging her strengths.

  • Elisa Cimento

    Elisa is a senior project manager at Rally Health where she works at the intersection of clinical and product to create meaningful experiences that simplify the user experience in healthcare.
    Prior to working at Rally Health she obtained her undergraduate degree at the George Washington University.
    When she isn't keeping everything organized at work you can find her spending time on the trails in her backyard of San Francisco and trying new recipes. In pre-pandemic times, she loved to travel as much as possible, and still hopes to reach 40 countries under 40!

  • Jordan Livingston

    I was born in Calgary, AB Canada profound deaf in both ears and received my first Cochlear Implant when I was 3 1/2. Having spent most of my life around airplanes I always wanted to become an Airline Pilot. After getting my Private Pilots License at Rancho High School Aviation Academy in Las Vegas, NV I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ where I received a B.S. in Aviation Business Administration Flight Operations Concentration with a Flight Safety Minor. After graduating University I began my professional flying career as a Skydiving Pilot where I later was promoted to Chief Pilot, later I began Flight Instructing on the side. When COVID hit I eventually transitioned to full time instructing while waiting for the aviation industry to recover. Now things are improving which is allowing me to slowly transition into flying corporate jets and hopefully the airlines sooner than later. I am looking forward to what future achievements and endeavors await me in the near future.

  • Shalini Chalikonda

    I'm from Raritan, New Jersey. I was born deaf, and I have one cochlear implant that I can't imagine life without! I have a Masters in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health. I currently work as a population health data analyst at Hunterdon Healthcare Partners. As a member of a spiritual organization, I voluntarily teach education in human values to 7th-9th graders every Sunday.
    I love dogs, traveling, and nature (biking/hiking). I also enjoy watching documentaries, and rom coms on Netflix.

  • Sunny Shah

    I'm Sunny (he/him) and I'm currently a graduate student at Stanford University, studying mathematical and computational finance. I am from Mumbai, India and I'm a bilateral cochlear implantee.

  • Darius Rahmaan

    Darius Rahmaan is a recent graduate from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. While enrolled in college, he has interned for the Tennessee General Assembly and for the Alexander Graham Bell Association. In 2015, Darius was a member of the Leadership Opportunity for Teens Program (LOFT). His goal and aspiration in life are to help other deaf and disabled people. Darius is also a lover of Literature and musical theatre.

  • Julia Wells

    Julia Wells was born and raised in Washington, D.C., where she currently resides. She graduated from Colgate University in 2020 with degrees in Religion and Philosophy. While attending Colgate, she studied abroad in Scotland. She wrote my senior thesis on religion and the law. Currently, Julia is attending George Washington Law School.

May 15, 2021
Sat 11:00 AM EDT

Duration 3H 30M

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