Griffen Saul, a first year student at Tufts University, has demonstrated a commitment to positive social change and established himself as a leader on campus. Griffen has made invaluable contributions to Jumpstart, a program that provides a literacy based curriculum for youth in under-served communities. He also began his own nonprofit, We Are Able, to address social inequities inherent in interactions with people with disabilities. He seeks to educate and empower the able world in how to interface with those who are less able. He was selected this fall as a leader for the Obama Foundation Training Days, and also hosted a We Are Able national conference.
In an effort to cope with the reality of my father living with advanced Multiple sclerosis, which stripped him of his ability to walk before I was born, I found myself frequently volunteering in my community and working to empathize with others. Tragically, my father passed away from his disease on December 4th, 2015. After a period of grief, I realized that I could either let my sadness and the experiences with my father's disability define me, or I could use my pain as a catalyst for change, thus empowering me to found We Are Able. We Are Able, a 501(c)3, works to raise awareness for people with disabilities through educating others on proper disability etiquette and the importance of creating a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and become leaders within their communities. This Campaign occurs through an annual initiative in early December, in honor of December 3rd being the International Day for People with Disabilities. At Tufts, I have brought the We Are Able initiative to the campus. In addition, on campus, I am the program assistant for Jumpstart - Children First, and the Service Outreach Coordinator for Tisch Council of Philanthropic Leadership.