Meet a DSAW Leader: Intern Edition

Meet DSAW’s hard working Summer 2019 Interns! We couldn’t do the work we do without these amazing and passionate individuals. Read below to learn more about Ava, Brett, Lindsey, Mariah, and Michelle!

Ava Landmeyer, Social Work/Programming Intern:


My name is Ava Landmeyer and I am so excited to be interning with DSAW this summer! About 8 months ago, I began volunteering at DSAW’s Tween Nights after hearing about DSAW through the Breathe Respite Program a couple years back. I’ve always felt a pull towards working with individuals with special needs, and I’ve been lucky enough to learn just how much I love this type of work through a few different opportunities, such as working as an assistant Irish dance teacher, Best Buddies club, Breathe Respite, and now DSAW! It’s been such an amazing experience getting to know everyone at DSAW and getting more involved in some of their amazing programs. Besides working with DSAW and similar organizations, I also spend my time Irish dancing and working as a Certified Nursing Assistant.  I am so looking forward to the opportunity to work with DSAW and all of its fantastic members.

Brett Braza, Marketing & Communications Intern:


Hello! My name is Brett Braza and I am the Marketing & Communications Intern here at DSAW. Although I have only been working here for a year, I can say with confidence that this incredible organization has changed my life. I have been lucky enough to meet so many inspiring self-advocates, many of whom I would call my heroes. These self-advocates have proven that just because an individual has a disability does not mean they are limited in life—they are capable to do anything! I plan on bringing that perspective to school and throughout the rest of my life. Speaking of school, I just finished my freshman year at the University of Minnesota! I absolutely love the Twin Cities area and will be excited to be back up there again in August. I am studying Marketing and Non-Profit Management through the Carlson School of Management, two fields of study greatly inspired by my work with DSAW!  In my free time, I enjoy running, traveling Up North, and watching movies, specifically Pixar and Marvel movies! I am trying to improve my cooking skills this summer as I will be living in an apartment next year in the Twin Cities. But, that is a work in progress! I am so excited to be at DSAW for the summer!

Lindsey Clark, Social Work/Programming Intern:


Hi! My name is Lindsey Clark and I am a Social Work/Programming intern at DSAW in West Allis. I am currently a senior at Marquette University studying Social Welfare and Justice and Gender and Sexuality Studies. I am originally from Detroit but have loved living in Milwaukee these past three years. After I graduate, I plan on pursuing my Masters in Social Work and hope to work to support individuals and impact my community. I wanted to be involved with DSAW, not only to gain experience working with the programming of a non-profit, but also to join the strong community that advocates for the dignity of all individuals. Although I am only in my first month of interning here, I have quickly grown to love the people and mission of DSAW. In my time as a DSAW intern, I can't wait to learn, grow and become a part of this amazing community. 

Mariah Ganyo, Social Work/Programming Intern:


Hello! My name is Mariah Ganyo and I am apart of the programs internship at DSAW for the summer. I just graduated this spring from The University of Wisconsin- Stout with a bachelors of science degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a concentration in social work. I grew up in a suburb outside of the twin cities in MN and my next door neighbor who is one of my best friends is a person with Down syndrome. Him and many of his friends helped me find my passion for helping others. In my free time, i enjoy being outside, reading a book, out shopping with friends and family, or inside trying to cook a delicious recipe off of Pinterest. I am so happy to be apart of DSAW and can’t wait to get to know all of you!

Michelle Dieckelman, Nonprofit Management & Event Planning Intern:


Hi! My name is Michelle Dieckelman and I am the Nonprofit Management and Event Planning Intern for DSAW. I am a junior at UW-Madison, double majoring in communicative science & disorders and communication science & rhetorical studies. My career aspiration is to be a speech pathologist in the NICU. I am from a family of 5 – my parents, a brother, and a sister. At UW – Madison, I am involved with the Special Olympics of Wisconsin, Moment of Magic, and Badgers Give Back. All of these experiences have brought me down the path of working at DSAW. I participate in flag football and volleyball with the Special Olympics of Wisconsin and it has brought me so much joy and great friendships. With my Moment of Magic organization, I get to dress up as a female superhero and help children to feel “brave, strong, and fearless.” DSAW is a great organization and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to work as an intern for the summer. I can already see the impact this organization has on the community and I cannot wait to be part of this amazing organization and team.