- Haben Girma made history when she became the first blind and deaf graduate from Harvard Law School
- The Eritrean native earned this feat in 2013
- Briefly.co.za highlights her journey and laudable achievement
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Eritrean lady, Haben Girma, etched her name in stone when she became the first blind and deaf graduate of the prestigious Harvard Law School in the United States.
However, she did not earn this feat on a silver platter. She had to work hard, but with her self-worth and belief, she imprinted her name in the sands of history.
The Eritrean native shattered barriers of race, gender, and disability to become the first deaf-blind graduate of one of the most selective law schools in the world.
She was born in Oakland, California in 1988 to an Eritrean mother and Ethiopian father. Her mother fled in 1983 at the height of the Eritrean War of Independence that was ravaging the country at the time.
Girma thrived in education while growing up in California in the United States. This was largely because of the education system that recognises the rights of people with disabilities through the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
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At the age of 15 she took up volunteering work and travelled to Mali, West Africa to build schools with the charity BuildOn.
Girma later studied sociology and anthropology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland where she graduated with distinction.
In 2013 she became the first deaf-blind student to attend and graduate from Harvard Law School, earning her Juris Doctorate (JD).
After her graduation from law school, Girma worked as an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a California-based disability civil rights law firm.
Girma was named a White House Champion of Change in 2015.
In January that same year, she was appointed to the national board of trustees for the Helen Keller Services for the Blind.
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