At the age of two Chanel Washington was diagnosed with a degenerative neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which causes her to be extremely weak and wheelchair bound. Despite her physical limitations Chanel has persevered past every obstacle set in front of her and she lives her life as if she had no restrictions.
Chanel has a deep sense of appreciation for academics because Chanel feels that with limited use of her body, her mind is her most precious asset. Using that asset to its fully capacity, Chanel is currently a freshman at Harvard. She is thriving at Harvard, hoping to concentrate in government and run for public office. She is passionate about health care and education reform. An active member of the student body, Chanel is Events Director for the Harvard College Democrats, and a volunteer for Kids With Special Needs Achievement Program, and the Small Claims Advisory Service. In addition Chanel is starting a new student group on campus call Disability Advocacy by Students at Harvard in order to raise awareness and advocate for disability issues. She hopes to expand the club next year to include college application mentorship for high achieving disabled students.