I am a high school student from New Jersey on a mission to help improve the self-esteem of elementary school students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences.
In second and third grade, I struggled immensely to read. While all my classmates easily completed the classwork, I fought to read and understand the directions. As a result, I started falling behind in class and was placed into a specialized Language Arts class. I was humiliated when my peers found out that I was placed in this class because, amongst that students at my school, there was an erroneous and baneful notion that special education classes were meant for students who were “unintelligent.”
Although I worked extremely hard to strengthen my reading ability and eventually graduated from this class, I began struggling with my confidence when I returned to the standardized Language Arts class. Due to the sentiment surrounding special education classes, I doubted my academic ability and questioned whether I was unintelligent because I had previously been in one of these classes. It was not until I discovered art that my confidence grew, and I could see the falsehood in this perception.
When creating art, I could freely express myself, as there are no boundaries in art. I learned to take creative risks and go outside my comfort zone. Art showed me that when I went outside of my comfort zone, I was rewarded. So I applied this lesson to my academic life, and I started to go out of my comfort zone in the classroom by asking questions and offering answers. Although I did not always have the correct answer, art gave me the resilience I needed to keep trying.
Through the journey of creating the Coloring Confidence program, I was inspired to get tested for dyslexia through NeuroLearning, and I am proud to say that I am a member of the dyslexic community. While I still have difficulties with reading, I have learned to apply art to my learning to work out academic struggles and release pent-up academic stress. Moreso, due to the resilience and intrepidity that art instilled in me, today, English is one of my favorite and strongest subjects, and I am a ravenous reader. Art remains a vital part of my life, and I hope that through the Coloring Confidence enrichment program, art can also become an essential part of your life.
A Bit About Me
While the color red represents dyslexia awareness and the color blue represents intelligence, I chose the color purple to represent Coloring Confidence. My goal is to show kids that their reading challenge does not take away from their intelligence. I wanted to showcase this goal by combining the red of dyslexia with the blue of intelligence to create purple because dyslexia can add to a student's intelligence. Dyslexia brings about creative abilities that give students the power to see the world in ways that most people cannot. I hope to show students with dyslexia that they are not just made up of the color red, but they are made up of a combination of red and blue to make a beautiful, strong, and unique PURPLE.
I have been creating art as a hobby for most of my life. Art has become a place in my life where I can challenge myself and push the boundaries of creativity. I hope that my art can inspire others to pick up a pencil and paper to express themselves. There is no right or wrong in art.
Creativity is intelligence having fun.