Institute of International Peace Leaders

The Dynamic Life Story of Zaib

Shahzaib (Zaib) Lakhani

“My Down Syndrome is just misspelled it’s actually a “Do-Win” Syndrome, because Down Syndrome is not the only one thing I have, possibilities of my abilities are endless.” 

~Shahzaib Lakhani~
Goodwill Ambassador for Education Equity & Peace

Shahzaib Lakhani known as “Zaib Lakhani” is the first selected IIPL Goodwill Ambassador at the age of 19yr. A young man who possesses a fire to serve his Global Community with an extra ordinary skill with his extra chromosome, setting entirely new exemplary standards for people who are denied inclusion at any level, Zaib’s unique profile as an individual with Down Syndrome and his achievements will leave all speechless. 

 

 Zaib is on a mission of redefining the world’s perception of students with Down Syndromes, as he has renamed his own identification when, he was refused to be accepted for a meaningful completion of his high school and replaced only as an attendee certificate (A diploma without a success criteria). He demanded his School District to provide him the meaningful access to education with an equal participation to earn a Standard Diploma, which can allow him to access further, formal and higher education as he was on the track during his middle school years.

As a result of fighting for his rights, he also found out that it has been a common practice to exclude students with Down Syndrome, from such inclusion and success criteria as a predetermination of systematic discrimination against the student’s disability. 

 

“Be the change; Let’s be the Change” ~ Zaib Lakhani

Zaib’s substantial efforts for seeking justice, equity, and access in educational rights for all students with disabilities, he has been able to provoke awareness within the school and community settings globally.

Over couple of decades now, new research is now working and showing, that people with Down Syndromes, are demonstrating a significant potential in life with independency when, provided proper nutritious care, well trained targeted assistance, motivated educators and inclusion in schools and communities both. 

 

 

 

 

At IIPL, we are honored to have Zaib, representing. the Global community of “Down Syndrome” and “People with Disabilities”.

  A leader through his assignment in IIPL office, as a “Goodwill Ambassador for Education Equity & Peace” Since Year 2021

“Don’t Dis-Abilities” ~Zaib Lakhani
“Justice 4 Zaib is Powerful”
~ Zaib Lakhani

It was also come to realization, constraining to Zaib and his ability to reach full potential was also the mentality against his diagnosis of Down Syndrome and setting new standards of achievement for Student with Down Syndrome. A revolution in Virginia just began its height. The mission is unstoppable!

 Zaib Does Identify his Down Syndrome, and others with disabilities as; people with “Unique Abilities” and disqualifies the word people with “Disability.”  

 

Through his voice, Zaib Lakhani is a force to be reckoned with, and is committed to teaching the world, that abilities are more powerful than disabilities.

Zaib is supported by his dynamic team of local advocates known as “Momvocates”  in the community as well as his loving and very committed family setting high standards for him.

IIPL has definitely played a huge role to make Zaib’s voice reach globally.

Zaib’s mom, Zahra Lakhani is also actively involved in supporting and speaking with him at many platforms to make sure the intense frequency of a voice from a parent’s side is also heard.  

“Don’t Dis-Abilities” ~Zaib Lakhani

Zaib’s dream for himself is to receive the education in scope of working with law makers and Justice so he can continue advocating for himself and others at a higher level around the world. It is quite painful and  disturbing for Zaib to see many of his peers with Down Syndrome are  living  without a clear path for life after high school struggling to socialize, without a language memory, expressive language, with poor articulations and oral motor development is holding their life  a hostage as they are emotionally suffering, mentally and physically  more depended on their  caretakers just because the proper plan of education and  post-secondary goals weren’t drafted or  followed during their school years by their  educators and parents weren’t educated at that level to provide informed  consent, or right to refuse meaningless criteria when set for their children  in school systems or by other organizations. 

To offer support within his limits, Zaib always tries to pass on many skills to uplift those individuals with unique needs, and their purpose of living life more enjoyable,

He shows them how to make their own meal and daily living skills at any given chance between his school and extracurricular life. 

Determination leads you to success more than your fancy gears! Raising Zaiby Baby – Possibilities of all abilities with Down Syndrome. 

Zaib’s achievements:

In 2017 Zaib participated in Children’s march on Washington DC.  Zaib’s work has been identified and covered by Voice of America VOA in a Russian Language to educate and uplift other parents and students with Special Needs.  

Zaib’s Photography practices at Presidential campaign back in 2016 gathered all attention by the running Vice President on his personal tweet. 

 

Zaib’s extracurricular actives are playing 2 instruments: Piano and Guitar and favorite sport is Basketball. 

 

Zaib will be starting to get his Drivers Ed as soon as he recovers from some of his medical challenges.

 

Over the years of his educational Zaib has been a higher achiever and an Honor roll Student and member of Honor Society  

 

Zaib has made many appearances in local news for his battle and equity voice and has a prominent face with local politicians including speaking himself at the General assembly as needed.

 

In 2015 and 2016: Twice the Presidential Award achiever. 

 

Modeling for Prom attires, at one of the biggest departmental store chains of Dillard’s in partners with “Prom Brings It” a nonprofit also featured in nationally known magazine called “Seventeen.”  

 

In2018, Zaib’s higher skills and need of an individualized program for other students like. A part of the collaboration to develop the program in partners with “Go High Corp” and “VCU” Virginia Commonwealth University. The research and evidenced, intended to provide an “end to end” approach to fulfil life of individuals with unique needs, as an individualized development program, and not a cookie cutter approach for people with disability to limit them more systematically.  Zaib’s voice for his rights were the inspiration to initiate the framework to such program, though it will take further research to fulfil the need of a full functioning curriculum and settings. 

 

In the year 2016-2017 Served as a Democrat Diversified Youth Caucus  
 

Since 2016 Zaib is Go high Nonprofit Ambassador for “Education Equity and Social Opportunity Development”  

 

As year for 2021: Currently Zaib is  participating in speaking personally  in General Assembly  to identify the gaps of  systematic injustice  for students and  learners of Exceptional  Education  participation  to be treated  with  dignity,  respect  and inclusion of a proper  planning  and  pacing of student  success  rather  having, Virginia Education Board to be  selective with their student’s success  based on their student  This voice is  reaching  millions out there  nationally  and globally now. 

 

 

 

 

Shahzaib Lakhani’s Journey has become a legislative moment in Virginia through bill  SB1288 currently passed General Assembly,  passed in both House  of legislators and  now going through  the final drafting to become an official law here in  VA, that would protect students with only a meaningful and evidenced based  educational process  and prepare them for college and post-secondary education  and not just an attendance certificate of breathing in school of becoming  more  vulnerable  day  by day.

In 2022 Zaib was Invited as a speaker with IIPL In Baku Azerbaijan and met his global friends from various countries at the IIPL conference.

“We come to know God through looking in the  eyes of other people” VA. Senator Tim Kain 

At IIPL, we are honored to have Zaib, representing. the Global community of “Down Syndrome” and “People with Disabilities”.

  A leader through his assignment in IIPL office, as a “Goodwill Ambassador for Education Equity & Peace” Since Year 2021

Furthermore, while having the Unique journey of Equity in Education.

Zaib has identified that in many countries, it is the “Education and Technology” literacy, that needs to be incorporated to address the needs of all learners, but do not have resources, or still gathering the support system.

In many countries, finances are also the biggest hold back VS. some places it is politically controlled of how education will be allocated and practiced with the individuals of special needs and under privileged.

 

Zaib’s and his team’s advocacy also suggest, the identification of true deficits of under unique labels such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger, Speech and Language or as simple as English a Second or Third Language factors, which each uniquely requires their own educational child study teams and individualized approach to rescue learning and developmental gaps.

Importantly, formal academic education and technology literacy are the keys to build progression in each one of us universally even more than ever now since the pandemic, because to survive and to prevent rising issues for unwanted isolation, salvage mental and emotional health, professional stability and growth, one must be able to communicate through formal education only. 

“Equity in Education and Technology Literacy” is the new survival in life post pandemic, due to all interactions being conducted through technology only. 

As Zaib continues, we hope that he can find your support to grow his voice even stronger and develop a better world for all who are fighting their educational and human rights, but still unheard. 

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