My name is Fayza Jaleel and I am a pre-medical college student majoring in anthropology at Wellesley College in Wellesley Massachusetts. As a person with cerebral palsy who also is a disability advocate on campus, I am especially passionate about ensuring equity and creating an open and safe environment for everyone and have worked with the college administration to help increase resources for disabled students at large. I am also passionate about science education as a youth volunteer for and captain of several science teams, have been a member of college government in the past, and also occasionally write for GenerAsians, the Asian student magazine on campus. Outside of Cerebral Palsy research, I have held a long interest in natural disaster remediation as well as disability and environmental politics, having been politically involved since high school.
On the social side of disability, I have been especially passionate about creating ways to reduce interfamilial and internalized ableism in immigrant communities and communities of color both as a mentor and as an anthropology student. I was not diagnosed with CP until I was 2 years old, which is rather old, so I have been particularly interested in researching diagnoses of various aspects of CP, especially dystonia.
Additionally, as a person who is transitioning into the adult world, the lack of research about comorbidities and the progression of CP amongst adolescents and adults with cerebral palsy is concerning to me. Additionally, as a first-generation child of immigrants, the lack of literature and outreach specifically towards immigrant families and immigrant children with CP, especially immigrants of color is especially concerning, so I hope to be able to have the opportunity to remedy that in the future.