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WNBA Star Jewell Loyd Shares Her Dyslexia Story on Times Square Billboard

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WNBA star Jewell Loyd’s face is plastered on a 32-story, three panel LED billboard in Times Square for one purpose: to tell her story about living with dyslexia and to encourage others to do the same. The billboard is a part of the Share-Ability campaign by Eye to Eye, a mentoring group for and by people with learning disabilities.

The mission is to encourage “different thinkers,” or people who have learning disabilities, to share their stories. More than 20 percent of the U.S. population (1 in 5 children) who have learning disabilities. “I believe that sharing my story is one of the most powerful things I can do,” the 22-year-old Seattle Storm guard said in an Eye to Eye press release. Loyd, the 2015 WNBA Rookie of the Year, is one of many athletes partaking in Eye to Eye’s Share-Ability campaign, joining the ranks of Indy500 race car drivers Sir Jackie Stewart and the late Justin Wilson, who both had dyslexia. Her story is the first to be featured on a Times Square billboard. At age 12, after struggling in school and being accused of being lazy by teachers, Loyd learned she was dyslexic. She recalls the term “learning disability” initially freaking her out. “I wondered, ‘What are my friends going to say,” she said in the press release. “I was afraid people would think I was stupid.”

Loyd is also an Honorary Eye to Eye Diplomat, where she mentors and advocates for kids with learning disabilities. When it comes to serving as a role model, Loyd encourages kids to turn disability into ability and to live by her motto, “You have no idea how able I am.” Her ultimate goal through the #Share-Ability campaign: helping kids change their lives and dream big.

“I want to encourage kids with learning disabilities to be proud and dream big,” she said. “To think that I am able to change lives is really such a dream come true.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Lorie Shaull

Originally published: March 26, 2016
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