Meet our 2019 ABLE NRC Ambassadors

Taylor Carty

Individual with Cerebral Palsy
Ballard, CA
ABLE Program: Pennsylvania

Recent graduate from U.C., Berkeley with a Bachelor's in Molecular & Cell Biology. Currently a volunteer and research assistant at Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. ABLE funds are being saved for medical school.

Taylor Carty sitting outside at a table studying for MCAT
Taylor Carty smiling in front of medical building
Taylor Carty standing outside arm in arm with siblings

Taylor Carty’s Highlight from the March 2019 AchievABLE Newsletter

Taylor Carty is a 23-year-old graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. She is applying to medical school in June and will be taking the MCAT next week.

A planner and savvy saver, Taylor doesn’t want to take out significant loans once she is accepted into medical school. This is why she has been saving money for tuition in her ABLE account. However, as a result of a severe burn accident she had two years ago and her ongoing medical treatment, she knew that she couldn’t afford to lose Medi-Cal as her secondary insurance. For this reason, in November 2017, she opened her ABLE account in Pennsylvania and has been diligently contributing to it ever since. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) may be in a position to help towards that goal and with some planning and a little luck, Taylor hopes to graduate from med school debt free. Taylor is eligible for both DVR and an ABLE account as a result of her cerebral palsy.

According to Taylor, most people expect her to run away from medicine, having been surrounded by physicians, therapists and social workers most of her life. However, over the years she began to see that medicine is not just about treatment; it is a collaboration of ideas, theories, practices, commitment and, most importantly, collaboration. This realization was what made Taylor want to become a physician – one who not only advocates for her patients but who also helps to make healthcare more accessible.

Her parents and younger siblings have been her biggest supporters and advocates on her journey to pursuing her dreams. Whenever she gets discouraged, her mom always says: “If you think you can, you can.” Her dad makes her laugh and her siblings hesitantly volunteer to test her on bio and chemistry materials, even though she knows that it bores them to death.
Initially receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Taylor switched over to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in October 2017 when her father turned 70 years old. At that point, she became eligible for child disability benefits. Taylor was thrown into the world of SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare. Through her own research and help from her family and the Department of Rehabilitation, she quickly became knowledgeable about the different rules, incentive programs and legislation that have so profoundly affected her life.

As one of our nine 2019 ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) Ambassadors, Taylor wants to share with other ABLE-eligible young adults, as well as those eligible individuals she encounters in her role as a medical professional, how ABLE has changed her life.

Her own experience reading the information on the ANRC website and in the newsletters, watching the webinars and talking to different people, helped Taylor realize that an ABLE account would open doors for her that were previously closed. In her role as an ABLE NRC Ambassador, Taylor wants to share this information and her story to shine a light for others so that they can build their own bright futures as well.

“I was ecstatic when I first learned about the ABLE Act and the financial freedom it offered. It was an immense relief knowing that I can save for medical school while not having to worry about losing my Medi-Cal coverage or having to take out astronomical school loans. Because of my ABLE account, I will have a better and more financially secure future. After medical school, I plan to continue to use my ABLE account to save for a house, emergencies and retirement.”