Haben Girma: Creating her Reality by Beating The Odds

We are still on the #LoveLearnLead series and today, we will be talking about Haben Girma.


I first heard about Girma through a friend who felt that she was an inspiring personality to motivate our girls. Before then, I had never heard about her so I kept a pretty open mind expecting to be blown away and the truth is , I was. At the same time, I was humbled. I searched every platform where she had spoken, from Ted X in Baltimore to her appearance on Katie’s show to stalking her tweets just to get a sense of her person. One thing stood out: Girma’s resilience in the face of the odds.  

Born July 29, 1988, Girma grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently lives.

Her profile tells us that she is an internationally acclaimed inclusion leader who earned recognition as a White House “Champion of Change”, Forbes 30 under 30 leader, and BBC Women of Africa Hero. Also the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben champions equal access to information for people with disabilities. She has been honored by President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and many others.

Girma did not just wake up to these achievements, she set her sights on her goal and was determined to achieve them. Being the first Harvard Law School’s deaf-blind graduate Girma’s academic achievements have catapulted her advocacy career, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities.

What is exciting about Haben’s story is that she is not some far-fetched myth. She is resilience personified and a living example of an individual who has weathered and continues to weather the storms of life. One luxury we don’t have is choosing the challenges that come our way, hence we need to create a process that makes us stronger in the face of the odds. Girma was born with some disadvantages yet, she made her way to Harvard. Today, she is not sitting in a spot bemoaning her fate rather she works, offering accessibility and diversity training, consulting, and professional speaking services. Haben combines her knowledge of law, sociology, and technology to teach clients the benefits of fully accessible products and services. Her insights help to expand our thinking, creating lasting, positive change among people and communities.

She has been featured extensively in media round the world, including the BBC, NBC, Forbes, the Washington Post, MTV, NPR, and many more.


She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In addition to her accessibility work, she enjoys salsa dancing, surfing, and traveling the world.

I like and respect her for many reasons, she is stylish, put together and beautiful. She has made some remarkable achievements in life. She is a Ted x speaker, salsa dancer, world traveler and there is almost no stopping the positivity Haben Girma exudes.

Haben Girma’s extraordinary story highlights her courage and determination in the face of her physical challenges, and she is living proof that disability is certainly no barrier to achieving academic excellence. She had the option of backing down and accepting her fact but has opted to rise above the odds and create the reality she wants.

Motivated enough?

What exactly is stopping you? Create your world


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