Age 20 / Sophomore at Lake-Sumter State College
As a young child, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I had a difficult time processing information and struggled academically as an elementary school student.
I have overcome dyslexia through tutoring and investing lots of time in my studies. I also received wonderful support from my parents and my high school English teacher, Donnie Burchfield. Mr. Burchfield told me that although there is not a cure for dyslexia, I could still overcome the disease. He was right because I graduated from Mount Dora High School with a 3.9 grade-point average.
One thing I’ve learned in life is to always persevere. During my senior year in high school, I had trouble passing the reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Rather than feel sorry for myself, I took several intensive reading classes and finally passed in December of my senior year. That was a relief because I would not have received a diploma without passing.
After community college, I will transfer to either the University of Florida or the University of Central Florida and major in mechanical engineering. I have always been fascinated with technology and feel the possibilities are endless.
I am very different from my siblings. My brother Bruce plays football at Notre Dame. My sister McKenzie plays softball at Lake-Sumter State College, and my other brother Brett is a football star at Mount Dora High School. I am the brains of the family and always felt more comfortable with academics than athletics. During high school, I was district president of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), treasurer of National Honor Society (NHS), and secretary of Student Government Association (SGA).
At this point in my life, I feel relationships are a distraction so I choose to remain single. If I dated right now I would not be able to give a woman the attention she deserves.
I am a big fan of Disney movies. My two favorites are “Up” and “Aladdin.”
I am a volunteer at First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora. I help with the youth ministry on Wednesday evenings.
I invented a quote that I try to live by every day: “A goal is like a never-ending ladder. You keep on climbing. You don’t look down. You can hear the cheers of your peers supporting you. We know there is something important at the top of the ladder, so let’s keep climbing.”
Making a point: Maintains a 3.89 grade-point average at Lake-Sumter State College.
What an honor: Serves as a student ambassador and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for community and junior colleges.
He’s got your number: Ben tutors his peers in math at the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning.