James Madison Prep Junior, Quinn, Doesn’t let Dyslexia Get Him Down

Quinn has turned into a true leader this year from academics to extra curricular activities. Quinn was the quarterback on the football team this year, and led the team to JMPS’s first ever football State Championship. Quinn is also involved in our school’s Robotics team, soccer, and track. Quinn excels academically particularly in math and science. Quinn has also become a leader in his homeroom, which has led to his homeroom being in first place all year in house points. Junior year is always a challenge academically, and Quinn has demonstrated that he can handle the pressure of it all and even excel while being involved in so many other activities.

Q. Can you tell us about your goal of achieving Eagle Scout? What does that entail?
A. Eagle Scout in the highest rank of Boy Scouts. In order to reach this rank, you must pass through six other ranks and perform many hours of service for the community. Then, after completing all of this you must create, plan out, fundraise, and execute your very own service project, known as your Eagle Scout Project. For my project I am building a permanent fire pit for veterans at the American Legion Hall Juan Post 35 at Dobson and Chandler. Currently they do not have a fire pit in which they can retire American flags. So, I am building this fire pit and my troop will also be retiring some flags there for them.
Q. Can you tell us about your work with SB1461? What was your involvement?
A. My dyslexia tutor, Laura Busby, came to me one day and asked me to give a speech in front of the Arizona State House of Representatives, to help the bill get passed. The law at the time, Move on When Reading stated that if you are in 3rd grade, and not at reading level, you would automatically be held back. SB1461 would give an exemption to children diagnosed with dyslexia. The bill also made it so that educators would earn continuing education credits for their training about dyslexia screening and intervention. The bill also put a definition of dyslexia into law so the actual word dyslexia can be used in legislation. Before this, dyslexia was under the general term, specific learning disability, or SLD.

Q. What is the best advice you have to encourage others who struggle with dyslexia?
A. The best advice for people with dyslexia that I can give them is this: Dyslexia is what you make of it. Dyslexia can be a burden or a gift, I see it as the latter. I am moderately to severely dyslexic, I am also almost an Eagle Scout. I have spoken in front of State Congressmen. I am quarter back of my football team. I am in academic decathlon and robotics. I have presented about dyslexia in front of the superintendent of the Mesa Public School District and head of the Montessori program. I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds, and am a fierce chess competitor. You can let your dyslexia bog you down or move past it and soar to greater heights. All you have to do is work.

Q. Can you tell us about Academic Decathlon? Robotics?
A. I’ve been in Academic Decathlon for three years now. Through it, I have learned about subjects that I would not normally be exposed to in my regular education and have delved deeper into topics that we only touch upon at school. I have just joined First Robotics team 2449 and am excited to learn all about it as I am planning on majoring in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering.

Q. Do you have plans for after James Madison?
A. After James Madison I am going to college, but not yet sure which one. I plan on getting my bachelors in some type of engineering.

Quinn Lathrop is an 11th Grader at James Madison Prep.

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