How one 12-year-old girl took on dyslexia by recruiting all of her heroes
Dyslexia is a lifelong condition. It’s also a condition that might be difficult to understand for people who do not have it. Which is why an amazing 12-year-old girl from New South Wales, Australia, Isley Hermansen, is officially our Queen of the Day for the inspiring video she made talking about the problems she faces with dyslexia every single day.
It’s a video that’s gone viral and for good reason, and it all started after Isley decided to Google “famous dyslexics.” Finding a list of celebrities that shared her condition — including Albert Einstein, Keira Knightley and Steven Spielberg — she created an inspiring video in PowerPoint and uploaded it to YouTube.
After Isley and her mom received an overwhelmingly positive response from dyslexic support groups and other families who identified with the video, they decided to reach out to one of the famous dyslexics directly — Virgin Group founder and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. So Isley wrote him a letter, never really expecting to get a direct reply. Here’s what she wrote:
To Isley and her mom’s surprise, they got a reply! Not only did they receive an email from Branson’s team, but Branson himself wrote a blog post on Monday about how moved he was by Isley’s video. “Every now and then you come across something so inspiring that you can’t help but share it,” he said.
He continued, “Isley is determined to use her dyslexia as motivation and sees her condition as a gift, just like some of the dyslexic people in her video did. She’s going to fly like the Wright Brothers, make discoveries like Professor Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, sing like John Lennon, make films like Steven Spielberg, write like Roald Dahl and Maya Angelou, create businesses like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, paint masterpieces like Leonardo Da Vinci, cook like Jamie Oliver, act like Keira Knightley and Will Smith, play like Michael Jordan and dream like Walt Disney. She’s going to fly #likeadyslexic.”
It’s wonderful that Isley received a message from someone who inspires her, but the most incredible thing about Isley’s story is how many people she too is inspiring. Anyone who struggles with dyslexia will feel a little less alone thanks to her video, and everyone can use the video and her story as a source of inspiration and strength. Thanks to the hashtag #likeadyslexic, anyone can join Isley and Richard Branson to share their stories and their struggles and keep this positive campaign going.
And hats off to Isley, our Queen of the Day.