Melissa

Melissa is a rising junior at from Newton, Massachusetts. Born with a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Melissa is passionate about disability rights and inclusion. Melissa is the co-author of the middle grade novel, Mia Lee is Wheeling Through Middle School, and she has spoken at TEDx events and the United Nations. In 2014, Melissa started a viral petition for the doll company American Girl to create a doll with a disability. Her goal is to show people that people with disabilities are are not defined by their challenges, but rather by what they can achieve. Melissa is currently working with the Boston Center of Independent Living to start a Disabled Youth Advocacy Group that’s mission is to recruit teens with disabilities to start accessibility campaigns in Massachusetts and make disability issues front and center. She is looking forward to joining a community of girls paving the way for the change they want to see.