Meet the Ambassadors
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Hi, I’m Amanda. I am in the tenth grade at a private learning different boarding and day school. Four years ago I was diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Though I have my challenges in reading, spelling, writing and processing information, I am gifted in science, technology, singing, and caring for other people. My passion for caring for other people is how I found the YES! Program and ultimately how I became a YES! Ambassador. I’m most excited to give kids the confidence to succeed in school and in life and make lifelong friends who will support me through thick and thin.
My name is Brenna and I am a junior at a public high school. I enjoy singing, songwriting, drawing, and painting. I am excited to be taking two art classes this year as well as AP Language. I have found writing and drawing to be a great creative outlet for me. I make time for it every day and plan to study the visual arts in college. I’m not afraid to say the word “dyslexia.” In fact, I am grateful that dyslexia is a part of me. Because of it, I think differently and learned from an early age about hard work and self-advocacy. I have been recognized with numerous academic and character awards over the years which is proof that a diagnosis of dyslexia doesn’t need to hold you back…it can be your hidden superpower
My name is Caroline. I am a junior in a public high school. I have been struggling with my dyslexia and dysgraphia since I was first diagnosed in the 4th grade. I have love for anything history and enjoy the fulfillment of learning new things. I cannot wait to help others like me advocate for themselves.
I’m Hunter and I’ll be a sophomore in High School this fall. I live on the beach but, surfing is not my thing. Basketball is my passion. I’ve played basketball my whole life and have played AAU and competitively for several years. This year as a freshmen, I made the Varsity team and received my letter. Basketball has also led me to another passion which is short film making and editing. I enjoy taking game film and making highlight reels and short stories out of the film. I also like to add music to the edits to make the two elements flow together to tell a story. Despite my learning differences, I do well in school as long as I work hard, have the right accommodations and advocate for myself. I do really well in History. If I hear a story once, I never forget it. I am a great listener and look forward to being a part of the YES! Program by listening to anyone who needs help or would like to understand learning differences through my eyes.
I am Jace. I have dyslexia. I was officially diagnosed in second grade although my mom knew that I had it even in kindergarten. I am 13 years old and a 7th grader at a private non-learning disabled school. I am a really hard worker and I finished 6th grade with A's and B's. I am involved a many different activities. I love horseback riding and I am trying to save money to buy my own horse. I also play the guitar and the piano. I am so excited to be a part of the YES! Program and I look forward to helping and inspiring other kids to do their best.
Jake is an 8th grader in a school on the jersey shore. He is a straight A student who is very perseverant and works his tail off all the time. He has a passion for basketball and has had a ball in his hands since he could say the word basketball. He has been playing at highly competitive tournaments since he was in the 4th grade. He won many MVP awards and he and his team have won many championships. Beside his obsession with basketball, he loves to write and be creative within his writing. Stories, poems, letters you name it; he writes it. He also loves to run and was the fastest runner on his middle school cross country team. He likes to help people out with anything and stands up for them when they need help. Jake is just like every 1 in 5 of us... he is dyslexic. And instead of using that as a let down, he uses it as a positive and looks at the strengths he has. He believes if he can give that gift to other kids through the YES! Program then he would be giving the best gift you could ever give.
I am James and I am going into my freshman year at a private school in NJ. I play competitive lacrosse and I also row crew. I was on the honor role throughout my whole eigth grade year. I learned I had a reading disability in first grade and by the sixth grade found out I was dyslexic. After having a tutor in Orton Gillingham, I am doing really well in school with no outside help.
My name is Lea and I am a senior in a public high school. I love reading (I am a huge Harry Potter fan!), animals, being outdoors, spending time with friends, and working with kids. I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was in the second grade. Having dyslexia has taught me to be compassionate and empathetic towards any kind of learning difference. I spend my summers volunteering in my school district's ESY (extended school year) program, helping in a K-3 classroom. I also work as a teaching assistant in my synagogue on Sunday mornings. I love being a YES! Ambassador, because I get to educate people who aren't dyslexic, and empower those who are.
My name is Megan and I am a seventh grader at a public middle school. I love playing sports, but swimming is my absolute favorite! I have been on a swim team since I was five years old and have competed at both State and Junior Olympic levels. For a long time, I struggled with reading, spelling, and remembering math facts, which made me feel embarrassed, frustrated, and dumb. All that changed the summer before fourth grade when I was identified as having dyslexia. I was relieved to learn that my brain just worked differently from other kids. I was smart! Since then, I have worked hard on learning new strategies, self-advocating, and educating others on learning differences. I was even awarded the Neiswand Outstanding Student Award through the International Dyslexia Association. If I had to describe myself in a few words, “dyslexic” would be only one of them. I‘m dyslexic, but this difference won’t hold me back. I know that I have to work hard, but I am proud of every accomplishment that I’ve earned.
Nick is 14 years old and in 9th grade. He found out he was dyslexic in 3rd grade, and then worked very hard at a tutoring program for several years to learn skills need to help him read better. Nick uses assistive technology to help him in school. For example, he uses an iPad to listen to Learning Ally audiobooks, to dictate homework assignments, and to study with apps like Quizlet. Nick likes to spend time with his family and friends. He likes to swim, ride his bike, spend time at the beach, and travel to new places. Nick is very excited to be a YES! Ambassador because he is able to help others learn about their dyslexia and how to be a better self-advocate.
Sarah is 15 years old and in the 10th grade at a private high school. She enjoys playing on the high school soccer team and participating in the annual school play. Sarah is a social gal who enjoys spending time with family and friends. She regularly organizes activities to bring people together. Sarah enjoys being active, traveling, and the great outdoors, but she also enjoys indoor activities like singing, drawing, writing, and sewing. Sarah discovered in middle school that she enjoys public speaking and she hopes to continue to develop this skill in high school. Helping and encouraging others comes naturally to her, and she hopes to be able to encourage other students like herself through being a YES Ambassador.