From 19-year-old Dustin Henderson, a Learning Ally National Achievement Award winner who is dyslexic and graduated as the valedictorian of his high school class in Oregon:
"Before Learning Ally, reading was a chore. I just couldn’t do it. I always loved listening to books, because I grew up with my parents reading to me, and it just came to life. But then when it came for me to read by myself it didn’t work like that. And then the first tool I had as a fifth grader was just a text to speech software, and the voice was too mechanical. It didn’t really come to life like it did with Learning Ally. So the natural voices just make a huge difference.
"Listening to a book with a human voice definitely makes the details pop, but also at the same time you get the overall picture, and it really just makes the books come to life.
"If I could meet all the volunteers, I’d definitely let them know that what they do is something magical, because they just bring the books to life. They bring the text off the page, and they really made me be able to get where I am today. So that’s truly something that they should be proud of."
You can learn more about Dustin’s journey at his page on the NAA website: https://naa.learningally.org/dustinhenderson/