Audrey Grimes Wins Learning Ally National Achievement Award

Midland resident proves that dyslexia is no obstacle to educational success

PRINCETON, NJ – Learning Ally, a nonprofit educational organization serving individuals with learning and visual disabilities, has bestowed a National Achievement Special Honors award to Audrey Grimes of Midland, Texas. Grimes is one of several students from across the U.S. who will receive cash awards of $2,000 in recognition of their academic excellence, extraordinary leadership, and service to others.

Upon entering school, Grimes was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. She lacked the ability to recognize and sound out words, and described her first day of kindergarten as being accompanied by “a towering monster dubbed Dyslexia.” Despite daily tutoring, she was unable to begin to read until the fourth grade.

The turning point came when she started using human-narrated audiobooks to complete her assigned reading. “The freedom to listen to my texts delivered me from the inevitable frustration and possible surrender to disability under the strain of rigorous academics,” she says. “I was a capable student, and with the necessary support I was ultimately able to show it. Listening provided a huge relief I may never have known from a torrential and persistent battle with dyslexia.”

A vibrant actor in her school and community’s theatre programs, Grimes was also a varsity runner, and continued to excel in her academics and extracurricular activities, graduating from Trinity School of Midland with honors. On the path to an illustrious future, she is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin, studying acting and theatre.

“My gratitude for Learning Ally spans far beyond the textbooks it offered me,” Grimes says. “I am grateful for the stimulus to read every book I can get my hands on. And I am grateful for the confidence that rose up in me when I realized that I no longer needed to struggle to keep up, but was free to soar ahead. I now find myself excelling further than I could ever have imagined that first day of kindergarten, when I brought a monster to class.”

About the National Achievement Awards

Each year, Learning Ally honors exceptional students through the Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards, which were instituted in 1991 for high school seniors with learning differences such as dyslexia. 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, extraordinary leadership, and service to others; and they have thrived on their education paths thanks in part to their extensive use of accessible educational content and assistive technology provided by Learning Ally. 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. 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 helps K-12, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom read and learn differently due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Through its support programs and audiobooks, Learning Ally enables families and teachers to help students thrive and succeed. The organization provides support to parents and students through events, webinars, personal consultations and other tools; and integrated learning management systems and professional development for teachers. In addition, Learning Ally’s collection of more than 80,000 human-narrated audio 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.


Contact: Doug Sprei
Learning Ally PR & Communications
dsprei@LearningAlly.org
(609) 243-5865