AidanRecently, we had pleasure of talking to Aidan,  one of two Karina Eide Courage and Compassion Award Winners recognized because of his leadership, empathy, and dedication toward breaking down stereotypes and silos.

Winners of this competition were extraordinary individuals admired for their kindness, bravery, empathy, and motivation to change the world.  Bravery, empathy and compassion are not uncommon strengths seen among dyslexic students. These students may later choose enter caring professions like medicine and nursing, social work and counseling, ministry, and others.

This week, I had the privilege of talking with Aidan about his life, interests, what he aspires to do after high school, and why he feels his dyslexia has challenged him to be a better person. Listen to the full interview below:

 Aidan is active in hAidanis school and community through various clubs and outreaches, including IRISH, an anti-bullying student-led group, theater, language support, and, dance.

He is also a prolific creative writer.

 One of the qualities that struck us about Aidan is the dignity and respect with which he shows to all. His school voted him “Friend to All” during his senior year, and he notes that being kind to people is something he takes very seriously. In fact, his perspective on how to treat his peers spawned from an experience with his sister that took place at a very young age. 

When asked to share any advice he might have for younger students, he said “Never doubt the value of dedication.” In Aidan’s case, he had to work very hard. Dyslexia gave him “a reason to work harder.” When the opportunity arose to choose his own project in Psychology class, Aidan chose to talk to fellow students about Dyslexia. 

 “Don’t let dyslexia discourage you from reaching your dreams,” he notes. “Keep trying. If you don’t fail, you’ll never learn from what you’ve done. You can only grow stronger, once you’ve learned from your mistakes. With your dyslexia, it may seem bad at times, but it’s just another way of looking at life.”