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Briana | Royal Palm Beach, FL

Briana | Royal Palm Beach, FL

Leadership is... the daily practice of motivating others to achieve their goals and dreams by being an example of what can be achievable through hard work and dedication.

Leadership in Life... When I was 8 years old, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I worked hard academically and personally to achieve what I have so far in life, and I continue to work hard by reminding myself that my disability is my ability. Being dyslexic allows me to think differently than others and I see it as a gift. If I were to see it as a “major” setback and give up on trying to be the best version of myself, I would be going nowhere in life. Every time I accomplish something new, I think about the mountains I had to climb over to get me to achieve that goal. That’s what keeps me going, keeps me trying. Being different from my peers because of my disability forced me to be a leader and not a follower. I had to create my own path because I was never on the same playing field as my classmates. I want to be an example to others like me who have a learning disability, that you too can achieve your goals and dreams; your disability isn’t going to stop you, the only thing stopping you is the fear that it will.

Advice… To anyone who is faced with a disability, know that you can overcome anything that life throws at you. Whenever I feel like I’m failing, I reiterate a quote my mother told me over and over again: “Pencils have erasers because people make mistakes.” You will make many mistakes in your lifetime. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have what many employers out there are looking for: life experience. You need life experience that’ll show that you can overcome challenges, so don’t be afraid to be the odd one out in order to succeed.

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