Michael is an advocate trainee whose personal experience with disability comes from his experiences with mental health concerns over the past several years. He has over 13 years experience working in business and finance fields and has a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from UMass-Amherst and a Master’s in Management from the Florida Institute of Technology, but is currently transitioning into working in the social services field. He volunteers at Friendship Service Center, Inc., a homeless shelter serving individuals with mental health issues and substance abuse, as well as at an addiction and recovery house. He has graduated from CT’s Partners in Policymaking advocacy and leadership program and has completed a Recovery Support Specialist Certification program that helps him provide support and advocate for individuals with mental health and substance abuse concerns. Currently, he is interested in learning more about autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities and would like to gain skills in navigating healthcare services for developmentally disabled children as well as in leadership and advocacy for children and families. He would like to serve as an executive director for a social service program eventually, as well as serve on the board of directors at a homeless shelter. Additionally, he would like to continue to advocate for children, families, and adults with developmental disabilities.