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This Power of Children Award Winner Empowers Students with Dyslexia
The Power of Children Awards at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis recognize students in grades six through eleven for their philanthropic impact. To date, 72 winners have been selected for their dedication to their projects that contribute to changing the world. In 2018, six winners were chosen. One winner, Caragan Olles, is being acknowledged for her nonprofit organization, Bright Young Dyslexics.
After being diagnosed with dyslexia in the third grade, Caragan realized that believing in yourself is the first step for success. After completing her phonics based tutoring in fifth grade, Caragan knew how much she could accomplish and grow as long as she had confidence in herself.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that is widely misunderstood. It affects one in five students on average and it impacts more than just reading or writing abilities. Dyslexia also alters how one interprets language, filters out background noises, understands navigation, and more.
Caragan decided she wanted to do something to raise awareness for Dyslexia, so she began a nonprofit to help people better understand. She has raised over $90,000 to offer funding for specialized tutoring in Wisconsin. Specialized phonics tutoring is very expensive. Bright Young Dyslexics provides provides funds for these educational sessions, bridging the gap between failure and success for students with dyslexia. Through this project, teachers better understand how to address students with learning disabilities and parents learn new ways to assist their children in learning. Caragan has also created resource centers at public libraries so people can learn more about this disability. Caragan plans to continue advocating for strong programs in schools for children with dyslexia. She also hopes to expand the reach of Bright Young Dyslexics to other states.
Running Bright Young Dyslexics has helped Caragan grow in many ways, especially as a public speaker and figure head for her non-profit. She was petrified of public speaking when she began, but now she enjoys getting to speak about something she is passionate about. She has also had the pleasure of watching students involved in her project overcome their own fears and uncertainties and gain more confidence. She has been able to help other students with dyslexia see past their disability, and find their full potential in arts, music, or sports! Caragan has struggled in the past to achieve the level of confidence she has today, which is why she wants to inspire children just like her to gain confidence and know that they can make a difference in the world.