Dyslexia Role Model John Rodrigues
When John Rodrigues speaks, people listen. Author/artist/teacher/world traveler/all-around nice guy and dyslexia role model John Rodrigues visited Santa Barbara in March, 2015 to share his story about focusing on his strengths and flourishing with dyslexia and ADHD.The author of “High School Dropout to Harvard” presented to the community at Santa Barbara High School on Thursday evening, March 26, and to a group of students at Dos Pueblos High School on the following morning. His message is simple: focus on strengths and your life can be wonderful.
Rodrigues also appeared on our local television station, was interviewed by local media, and he visited the Parent Resource Center during his trip to Santa Barbara. His visit the second in the annual series of “Distinguished Dyslexics,” sponsored by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, the Kirby Jones Foundation, The Dyslexia Project and the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
He later sent a lovely note saying, “Thank you for inviting me to speak with students and family members in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. I had a great time and met a lot of wonderful people. I hope my story resonated with them, because I know the experience of being in high school and feeling like the system isn’t designed for you. My hope is that SBUSD students won’t judge themselves by what that system has to say about them, but by their innate talents.
“I believe this is crucial to getting on the path towards one’s success, says Rodrigues, a leading dyslexia role model. Reframing dyslexia as a consequence of one’s natural thinking—a opposed to just a source of frustration and inability—has helped me tap into the brilliance to our way of thinking—something that makes us rare and uniquely talented compared to the general population.
“Our difficulties can be addressed separately. Schools focus almost entirely on this, but rarely do they seek to draw out the advantages to how we think. That’s something successful people with dyslexia usually have to find themselves, and usually after a great deal of heartache.”
John Rodrigues, a thoughtful role model for all students, particularly those with dyslexia.