Meet Maeve, a current Senior at Xavier College Prep and part of SSP Team 19! I knew Maeve was just the kind of girl I wanted on my Senior Team when I read her answers on her application. When asked about her biggest accomplishment in High School so far, she had this to say.
“During the summer coming into my sophomore year, I was given the amazing opportunity to play in the Junior Olympics for water polo. I was one of the first girls from Arizona to do so, and the only one from my local club team to advance that far. Skip forward a year, and I was right back at it, back in the pool doing what I loved most. But this time, the unthinkable happened, I was named captain of the team. I started off this unknown girl from Phoenix, but I rose to the challenge and got to lead the most phenomenal group of young women. To this day, those girls are some of my closest friends, even though we are spread out across the country.”
As I’ve gotten to know her this year she has proven to be outgoing, super friendly, kind, determined and driven! She shared with me that she has Dyslexia and we chatted about what that has been like for her, especially while attending a very high academically rigorous college preparatory high school. I asked Maeve to share part of her journey because I know she is not alone in dealing with a learning “difference” as she calls it. So read on for her encouraging story!
“I was first diagnosed when I was going into 4th grade. When I was going into 1st grade, that’s when my parents knew something was different but they didn’t know exactly what it was. It wasn’t until three years later that I had my official diagnosis with dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD. Is there a silver lining to all of this? Yes, I love getting to prove people wrong. They think I won’t be able to do certain things because of my dyslexia, but then I do it, and the look of shock on their faces is one of the best things ever. Everyone who doesn’t have a learning difference sees it as a “disability” or a “set back” but thats so far from the truth.
The hardest part has definitely been working with teachers and other students who don’t understand that I’m not a “special needs” student. Its so hard to explain to them that I’m just like everyone else, but the only difference is that I learn in my own ways. I would tell others to embrace it. Don’t let the world tell you the any learning difference is a “disability” because it’s not. Take the time to understand how you think and then let your teachers know. School will become a lot easier when you do. And don’t let any teachers push you around because of your diagnosis. They don’t know what it’s like in your mind, so they might freak out, but don’t let that discourage you. Sit down with them and tell them the things that work best for you. Once you become an advocate for yourself, everything changes for the better.
I’m super open about my dyslexia, so all of my friends know about it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, when some people find out they’ve been mean to me and I’ve gotten some pretty rough comments, but it just helps you find out who your real friends are. I have unconditional support and tons of love from all nine of my best friends and it’s awesome.”
Maeve you are beautiful inside and out and I love having you as part of my Senior Team! You encourage other girls to be themselves and you always have a smile to bring to all of our events! Have an amazing Senior year and I’m so glad I am the one who gets to create gorgeous images like these of you and your beautiful smile!