Disabled girls in Kenya face many barriers to participate in STEM mentorship and other educational activities. Michelle is a voice and joy to reckon with at our local period bank partner located in the slums. Michelle wants educators, parents, those living with disabilities to look towards her for advice and hope as we guide her in growing her passion. When we first met her and asked what do you want to be? She said,
Mentors help Michelle and others like her with research on topics of interest, analyzing disability data in Kenya and career opportunities for the disabled in Kenya. Help with digital skills training to turn her ideas into visuals, presentation, leadership skills and helps her find organizations that can give her work skills experience in support of her mission. She specializes in Cerebral Palsy as she lives with the first-hand experience on the challenges facing the disabled girls in Kenya. Besides being an Activist, Michelle also aspires to be an Accountant. Accounting is an adjacent STEM role and we are delighted to pair her and other mentees with one of our lead mentors that is helping us equip, inspire and connect girls with financial literacy. Michelle often educates the other mentees about issues affecting the disabled in Kenya because as she says; “I have always had the urge to speak for the disabled, not because I am one but because I want to be the voice of change in my community in Kenya and across the world.” Today, we introduce you to Michelle because more often than not, the disabled girls in Kenya are invisible in STEM, career growth opportunities, and other education opportunities. Michelle is fighting for the inclusion of the disabled and you empower her to lead with her voice. The 2019 census report indicates, 2.2% (0.9 million people) of Kenyans live with some form of disability. Your Story Matters If you are an educator working with girls with disabilities, Michelle would love to hear from you. If you are a woman living with a disability in Kenya, share your story with our girls. If you are in a STEM career path and living with a disability reach out to us. ” This disability inclusion series is made possible by Michelle’s passion, the invaluable volunteer time of InspireHER STEM mentors who share their career experiences, monetary support, and resources, generous staff support from Mirror of Hope CBO and its affiliates, a community-based organization providing education sponsorship, Special Education Mentor, Christine who helps Michelle develop special needs leadership skills. Together we empower the underprivileged girls in Kenya and beyond to lead productive lives and become the next STEM leaders and drive societal change.
I want to become a lifelong crusader for people living with a disability – Michelle Atieno