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Leonard Blades was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. From birth, he's had a physical disability which makes his primary means of getting around a motorized wheelchair. Regardless, he's never let that stop him from making the most out of his life. His family is his biggest support system, as they continuously motivate and inspire him to achieve anything he desires and puts his mind to. Growing up, his dad often told him these words "never settle for less, always strive for the best." To this day, those words are instilled within him and have positively influenced him both in and out of the classroom.
Leonard is a CUNY alum of Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a graduate of the CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) where he received his master's degree in Disability Services in Higher Education and the Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies. As a student at the CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS), he founded the CUNY SPS Abilities and Resources Committee (now known as Disability and Access Coalition) that serves and represents the CUNY SPS disability community. In addition, he has represented CUNY SPS while serving in roles such as the Chairperson for the CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities (CCSD), the university wide-group that represents the more than 10,000 students with disabilities throughout CUNY and as the Vice Chair for Disability Affairs for the University Student Senate (USS), the university-wide group that represents the more than 500,000 students throughout CUNY.
Today, he is a returning student to CUNY SPS pursuing the master's degree in Disability Studies. He works at Queensborough Community College (QCC) within their Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) as the Disability Accommodation Specialist and is a Co-Advisor for the CCSD@QCC club. His motto in life is that while you may encounter defeat, you should never truly feel defeated.