The Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation scholarship means so many things to me. First, receving the scholarship means a huge boost in my confidence and it is an honor to be selected. The similarities I see in myself and Joseph Morelli are astonishing. When my mom started fighting our county to get me help, dyslexia was not even recognized as a disability. My mom worked with an elected representative and dyslexia was finally added as a disability. However, the school still did not want to provide me accommodations or an IEP. My mom had to sue the county and the day before we were supposed to go to court the county settled and agreed to provide me an IEP and accommodations. My mom never backed down and always fought for all my needs. By watching my mom over the years, I learned the importance of advocating for needs and accommodations on my own. Each time I advocate for myself, my confidence increases. Receiving this scholarship boosts my confidence and my acility to self-advocate for all the accommodations and needs as I enter college. The Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation gives me confidence in my ability to reach for and grab the highest star and become the best doctor I can. In addition, my mom is diagnosed with Sero-positive Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus and is disabled. Our family survives only from her Social Security Disability and a scholarship from this foundation is a life line for me to attend college. Financially, I will have the ability to focus on my academics and participate in the dyslexia program offered at the college I am attending. My anxiety, worry, and doubt will all decrease because I will be able to focus primarily on my academics. Also, the college I am attending in the fall is West Virginia Wesleyan. It is ranked in the top 10 colleges or universities in the country for helping kids with dyslexia. The college offers a Lindamood Bell program but does cost extra. This scholarship will play an instrumental role in helping pay for the dyslexia program at WV Wesleyan. Knowing I can be a part of this program at WV Wesleyan settles my anxiety a bit, assures me help is available, and and once again boosts my confidence in my ability to be successful in the pre-ned program. Finally, receving this scholarship gives me hope. I remember when I was in third grade and I would go to the bathroom and just cry for fear the teacher would call on me to read. As my anxiety increased, I would actually get sick, my stomach would begin to hurt, and I would beg my mother to stay home from school. Even as recent as last year while in virtual school, a teacher told me to consider a “back-up career” because medical schools will not offer me accommodations. And even though my mother and I knew this information is absolutely false, it makes me angry when teachers are not knowledgeable about dyslexia. However, I use these types of comments to propel me forward and one day I will prove to this teacher I can become a doctor. As awareness of dyslexia increases, I have hope the obstacles a child with severe dyslexia faces will become less prevalent. As more states are adding dyslexia as a disability and accommodations are provided, my hope increases each child will be encouraged to reach for the highest star and follow their dreams. I hope kids one day do not need to fight for accommodations, or need to sue the county to obtain an IEP. I hope some day soon, providing an IEP and accommodations for kids diagnosed with dyslexia will be commonplace. The Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation solidifies my hope and belief in my ability to reach for and grab the highest star and become the best doctor I can be, despite my diagnosis of severe dyslexia.