Dustin Henderson, a student at Oregon Tech, received the organizations highest award.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dustin Henderson, a student at Oregon Tech, was presented with a national achievement award by Learning Ally, a 65-year-old nonprofit, on Saturday, April 26th at their National Gala celebration in Washington, D.C.
Dustin received the organization’s highest award and is one of six students from across the United Stated who received cash awards and was honored at the gala over the weekend.
Learning Ally’s press release states,
Having always excelled in math and science but struggled with reading and writing, Henderson recalls being diagnosed with dyslexia and put into special education classes in the fourth grade. A turning point came when Henderson and his parents attended a seminar at Oregon Health and Science University on dyslexia. In addition to discovering tools that would later become essential to his success, such as audiobooks from Learning Ally, he gained a sense of confidence and new outlook on his dyslexia. “I learned a lot about myself in those four short hours. I began to realize that my disability was simply an obstacle I would have to overcome.”
Once he was equipped with the necessary educational support, Henderson’s extracurricular and academic performance soared. A state medalist swimmer and the president of his school’s National Honor Society, he graduated high school in May 2013 as a valedictorian with 22 college credits already completed.
Dustin is currently pursuing a degree in mathematics at Oregon Tech. “I used to view my learning disability as the bane of my existence,” he says, “but now I define it as a learning difference. I do not let my disability define me; instead I define it, and have been able to take this view and pass it on to others struggling with similar situations.”
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
About the National Achievement Awards
Since 1959, Learning Ally has honored exceptional students who are blind or visually impaired through its privately endowed Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Awards (SAA) for college seniors and beyond. 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, leadership, and service to others; 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; and they have thrived on their education paths thanks in part to their use of accessible educational content and assistive technology provided by Learning Ally. For information about applying for Learning Ally’s National Achievement awards, visit http://NAA.LearningAlly.org/apply.
About Learning Ally
Founded in 1948, Learning Ally serves K-12, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Through its programs and audiobooks, Learning Ally enables families and schools to manage the needs of students with learning disabilities. The organization offers integrated learning management systems and professional development for teachers, as well as support for parents through personal consultations, webinars and other tools. In addition, Learning Ally’s collection of more than 80,000 human-narrated textbooks and literature titles can be downloaded on mainstream smartphones and tablets, and is the largest of its kind in the world. Several thousand volunteers help to produce the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Learning Ally 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://LearningAlly.org.