Caida Mendelsohn is a junior at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she is majoring in government and minoring in education and child study. She’s also working toward the teaching certificate for elementary education. She is originally from Decatur, Georgia.
It was her personal struggle with dyslexia and ADHD that first sparked Mendelsohn’s interest in education as well as disability rights and advocacy. Through her college Office of Disability Services, she volunteers as a peer mentor to help other students make the transition to college. As a mentor, she provides a listening ear, an occasional shoulder to cry on, words of support, and additional resources that could be helpful.
In the summer of 2016, Mendelsohn interned with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, an Understood partner. She is now interning at the U.S. Department of Education through Smith College and is writing a thesis that explores the state takeover of Detroit Public Schools.