Hi my name is Aidan, I am in 8th grade, and I go to a public school. When I was in first grade, my teacher told my parents I was having trouble learning to read. For the next five years, I enjoyed everything about school except reading. I was pulled out of class every day, but it didn’t really help me. I felt like I was working harder than everyone else and not getting anywhere. It made me feel terrible. Then when I was in 5th grade, I told my parents I was close to giving up and I didn’t think I would ever learn to read. At that point, they took me to get a neuropsych evaluation and we found out that I was dyslexic. Some dyslexic people have a hard time sounding words out. Others have a hard time with sight words. I have problems with both!
After getting diagnosed, I applied and got into a private school that specializes in teaching kids with dyslexia. I went there for three years, and with their specialized instruction, I finally started to make progress. It was hand’s on and far more effective for me, which was great, but the biggest change for me was in my confidence. I was surrounded by people who had similar issues, and we were not stupid or lazy, we were just dyslexic. But being dyslexic wasn’t the most important thing about any of us. If you ask me, I would tell you that I am a basketball player, a skier, a scuba diver, a builder. And dyslexic.I used to be embarrassed when kids heard me read. Not anymore. I have returned to my local public school this year, and I’m not embarrassed when I pop in my earphones or ask for extra time on assignments. I know why I have trouble, I am working hard to overcome this challenge, and having dyslexia is only one piece of who I am.
Erin is 14 years old and attends 9th grade at a public school which focuses on animal, plant and agricultural mechanic science. Erin’s favorite academic subjects in school are history and science and she loves all of her vocational classes. Erin enjoys working with her hands to create school projects and is known for creating projects that are edible! Her favorite sports are hockey, skiing and softball and can be seen around town riding a unicycle. Working with kids with disabilities is one of Erin’s strengths. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in the 3rd grade and loves to share methods for coping with dyslexia with other students.
Jake is a 7th grader at his neighborhood public school. He has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He loves making movies with his friends and attends film making camps and workshops. His future plans involve becoming a movie director or a famous YouTuber. Jake enjoys football, target shooting, soccer and basketball. Jake loves playing video games and hanging out with his friends. He especially loves being with his dog and cat. Jake is an active member of his church and is involved in many community projects. Jake enjoys helping people and animals. Jake loves being a Yes! Ambassador and mentor. He wants to empower those with Dyslexia and educate as many people as he can about Dyslexia.
Johnny is 15 years old and a sophomore in a public high school. Through hard work and perseverance, Johnny has achieved honor roll status throughout his middle and high school years. His favorite subjects are the sciences and English Composition. He uses his “CRAZY strong” right-side brain to compensate for his language weaknesses and credits his attention to detail as why he excels in Science. With his skills, he hopes to enjoy a career in science, architecture, or engineering. Johnny is a competitive sailor and plays on the varsity hockey team. As a Learning Ally Yes! Ambassador, he enjoys empowering our future scientists, authors, engineers, artists and entrepreneurs in reaching their goals.
Josh is a 9th grader at an independent school that teaches students with dyslexia. His favorite subjects are history and math. Outside of school, Josh is on his school’s x-country, swimming and track teams and swims for a team outside of school. Josh is one of 5 children in his family and he and 3 of his siblings have dyslexia.
Kate is fourteen years old and going into ninth grade. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in the fourth grade. Ever since she has received useful assistive technologies, accommodations, and outside help. Kate enjoys babysitting, track, cross country, skiing, playing the saxophone, and hanging out with friends. She also likes paddle boarding and mountain biking with her family. In 6th grade Kate started advocating and testifying at her local state house with Decoding Dyslexia Massachusetts. She is very excited to be a YES! ambassador and helping other kids with their dyslexia. Kate has recently been promoted to Junior Ambassador.
Lily is 17 years old and is a senior at a public high school. She takes all honors- level classes and maintains high honor role. Science and math are her favorite subjects to learn about. She is a competitive dancer and is part of the varsity dance team at her local high school. At school, Lily also participates in many clubs, even creating her own. In addition she enjoys golfing, scrapbooking, and spending time with friends. While previously attending a private school for kids with dyslexia, Lily has become passionate for helping other students with their dyslexia and spreading awareness. Lily is excited to be a YES! Ambassadors so that she can mentor younger students and help them become successful.
Sam is a sophomore at a local private school. Science and history are his favorite subjects. Sam is an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He loves sharing his knowledge of nature and animals with kids and does it in a variety of ways including rapping and making videos. As an ambassador in the YES! Program, Sam enjoys sharing his life experiences as a student with dyslexia and wants to help other kids with dyslexia self-advocate, enjoy learning and succeed. He’s appreciative of this great opportunity to build his leadership skills and using his speaking skills.
Samantha is fifteen years old and a sophmore at her public school. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD in the fourth grade. She currently has trouble spelling, and working and reading quickly. Her strengths are math, science and creative ideas. One of Samantha’s favorite accommodations is her iPad, because of all the software and apps that are available to help her. Through hard work and dedication, she is taking honors-level classes and maintains an A average. She plays softball, coaches a 5th grade basketball team and is involved in a number of after-school clubs. She enjoys hanging out with friends and family, and playing with her dog, Taylor. She loves helping others understand their dyslexia and teaching them new ways to understand how to utilize their strategies while they grow into being strong self-advocates. Samantha is a proud YES! Ambassador and loves helping whenever she can.