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  • Writer's pictureKristy Mandigo

Disability I think not…

The Disability:IN Conference was over the summer, and just thinking back on all that has happened.  I represented Raytheon, Raytheon Alliance for Diverse Abilities, Disability:IN Southern California, KMK Enterprises, as Epilepsy advocate. I serve a a Management club board member at my company, and just got a new role “Chief Engineer”. I am a busy person.  I was able to speak at the conference this year, but it gave me more time in the virtual conference breakout rooms. I was actively involved in hiring and networking in years past and this past year it was more TA handling the hiring. I was able to gain knowledge on best practices but also teach others on my experiences.  It was a wonderful experience. 

Today, I was able to talk about "Stop the Stigma around mental Health", I spoke on this same topic at Disability:In 2 years ago before COVID.   

Let's be honest everyone has a different brain so why is this such an issue? Stigma is a powerful force working to divide each of us.  Who is better, who can be better?  What is normal? The Sigma limits the generosity that is directed to an issue area that is affecting the fabric of our society and most of our everyday lives. 

When it comes to mental health, we all have a personal story to tell. Statistically 1:4 Americans will personally deal with some type of mental illness in their lifetime and almost everyone will have a family member suffering from mental illness in addition to this statistic.  The hard part is when it happens at the same time, how do you handle it?  "Are you strong enough?" is not always the tag line that should be used.  Are you prepared or do you have the resource is the real question.  The answer is almost always "NO"  or NO... or Heck No... I was also fortunate in attending a speed mentoring session at Raytheon technologies it was amazing to talk to other senior leaders at the company and hearing about them. I felt a sense of connection.


Today has been a very big day. I announced my new role and transition plan. I was able to complete a major delivery. And I had two events that allowed me to touch other individuals.


With Covid the last few years have been such a shift. It is changed a lot of peoples ability to be comfortable in their own skin. This is a growing public health epidemic that spares no social class, ethnicity or geography. And it maybe the biggest opportunity to turn the tide on the deeper costs on judging ourselves so harshly.  

This is one of the many reasons this is what I do and why I do it.  I want to be integrated into the areas that I can help make real change, but also have the network available when I do need help.

With my new technical role, I’m excited to do something different and be able to work with folks that I’ve worked with several years ago. It’s amazing after so many years working through mergers and acquisition‘s at Raytheon Technologies, it seems that things change so much but things stay the same.


People make all the difference, our products are so important, and our customers rely on us every day. Today is a day that I feel privileged to be working at my company and recognized for my technical knowledge.


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