COLLEGE WEEK: We Connect Now takes students to the next level

We Connect Now is a website and nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting people on issues which affect people with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on college students, higher education and employment.

We are often asked, “What’s next for We Connect Now?” The answer is that We Connect Now does not have a master plan. We Connect Now was born out of a basic idea to create a website to address a need that I found at that time for a vehicle to provide easy access to general information about disabilities and higher education, in a centralized place, and that would keep college students with disabilities connected on issues of their choice.

After some time running the website, We Connect Now has grown from a website to an organization with a presence on campuses and events and it is growing from there.

We Connect Now is user-generated and responsive. The blogs we add are not because of a preselected topic. We add the blogs that our followers send us on the topics of their choice. We also make space for items people send us, even if the item does not really fit into our site’s pre-established sections.

A good example of this is a recent posting we did of a student’s letter to the Department of Education regarding his claim of discrimination based on disability in a graduate program. We Connect Now connectors keep our events section busy; what they send us is what is posted. They are We Connect Now on the ground.

The website’s content follows the needs expressed by our readers and connectors. We Connect Now believes that it is the people who should set the agenda and control the discussion of the issues.  Pure direct democracy as a goal drives this organization because sometimes elected public officials do not respond to the real wishes of the people.

As the Director of We Connect Now, my future is intertwined with the future of the organization. After all, since the end of my freshman year in college when I created We Connect Now, I have been watching it grow.

Several times in my life I have been in situations where I have been asked, or I have had to write goals. For example, in college I took some seminars that requested that I establish goals or objectives. The same was required from me in a summer internship I worked.

Personally, I do not like the idea of having a master plan. I do have certain issues I care about and I like to get up in the morning and work on the website. I am a big believer in living the moment, doing what comes to me when I wake up at that moment.

Presently I am a volunteer at We Connect Now and in the near future, as the need has been identified, We Connect Now will start working towards providing some compensation to its long-term volunteers and occasional collaborators.

Some things about We Connect Now and myself will not change, like our commitment to helping people with disabilities. We will continue to answer people’s emails and providing a forum for people’s ideas. When we get people’s inquiries, if we don’t know the answer we’ll refer them to someone who does.

We will continue to update online, on Twitter and on Facebook with useful information.  Our focus on college students’ issues will continue so that we may help in building a grassroots network of college students on campuses across the country whose goals and leadership comes from themselves and not from external elements who know nothing about the personal struggles of those We Connect Now responds to.

— Gabriela McCall Delgado

Creator/Director of We Connect Now



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