For Immediate Release: March 1, 2013
Contact: Doug Sprei, Director of Media Relations
dsprei@LearningAlly.org; (609) 243-5865
PRINCETON, NJ – Learning Ally, a 64-year old nonprofit organization serving over 300,000 individuals across the U.S. with learning differences, visual impairment and reading disabilities, has bestowed its highest award to John "Jack" Greene, an 18-year old college freshman from Englewood, Colorado who has dyslexia.
Greene is one of several students from across the U.S. who will receive cash awards of $6,000 and travel with their families to Washington, DC on April 27th to accept their awards, meet with Members of Congress, and speak at a roundtable with students, parents and educators.
Greene struggled in elementary school, and describes himself as a “less than average student” who constantly had to rely on his mother for help completing reading assignments for homework. “I would often feel bad asking my mom to read to me because I knew how busy she was and how long it took,” he says. “Sometimes, I would not ask her to help.”
In 6th grade, a teacher introduced Greene to Learning Ally’s audio textbooks. “Now my mom doesn’t need to read to me and I am able to keep up with all of my coursework,” he says. “Learning Ally has given me the confidence to realize that, with hard work, I can succeed in courses like AP Language and AP Literature.”
Greene graduated last spring with a 4.07 GPA from Cherry Creek High School, where he earned many academic honors, including multiple years in the National Honor Society, with the additional accomplishment of a state championship in tennis. Keen on helping others and giving back to his community, he also started a chapter of the nonprofit mentoring Project Eye to Eye at his high school to assist others who learn differently.
Each year, Learning Ally (formerly known as Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) honors exceptional students through the Marion Huber Learning Through Listening® Awards, which were instituted in 1991 for high school seniors with learning differences such as dyslexia. Hundreds of students apply for these prestigious awards each year and are selected by committees of Learning Ally volunteers, board members, parents, educators, donors and staff.
Students are recognized for their academic excellence, extraordinary leadership, and service to others; and they have thrived on their education paths thanks in part to their extensive use of accessible educational content and assistive technology provided by Learning Ally. Each award winner has a long list of honors and accomplishments, and has graduated with a GPA above 3.0, with most near the 4.0 mark.
Greene is now immersed in freshman year at the University of Colorado at Boulder and majoring in Aerospace Engineering. “I really enjoy sharing my story with others,” he says. “I also like helping parents feel less fearful about their children’s future after they are diagnosed. I want to pass along the message that with the right help and hard work, learning disabled students can excel in school far beyond what they thought was possible.”
About Learning Ally™
Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves over 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 75,000 digitally recorded human-read textbooks and literature titles – featuring a heavy emphasis on STEM resources – is delivered through internet downloads, assistive technology devices, and mainstream devices like iPhone and iPad, and is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 5,000 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. Learning Ally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is partially funded by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, visit http://www.LearningAlly.org.