Model: Ara Bakhteyar

Ara Bakhteyar (She/her/hers), a Biophysics senior at Columbia University, champions disability justice with a focus on neurodivergence. As co-founder of “Neurodivergent at Columbia,” she has cultivated a robust support network that uplifts students. Ara’s advocacy has significantly enhanced campus accessibility, contributing to a more inclusive academic environment.

Recognized by the 2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and funding from the Women in Science at Columbia program, Ara also earned accolades as an International Mathematics and Sciences Olympiad bronze medalist. Ara’s ambition extends beyond activism; she aspires to be a Physician-scientist who integrates disability advocacy with medical practice. Her aim is to ensure that the healthcare system addresses the unique needs of the neurodivergent community.

Ara’s synthesis of leadership and scholastic distinction encapsulates her unwavering commitment to empowering neurodivergent individuals, paving the way for systemic change and a more inclusive future.


Photographer: Ana Graciela Leal