If you could meet “Jakob the Jellyfish” in person, you would need no introduction. He is a vibrant, spunky young man, who walks to the beat of his own drum!
While he is not a swimmer, he is true supporter of his fellow friends with dyslexia. He will be on the crew for the relay, keeping everything running smoothly. We asked him what role he wanted and he said “I want to be in charge of entertainment!” And with that, I’m sure we will all be entertained.
Like the rest of the crew, Jakob has his own unique story. Adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 2, Jakob didn’t speak or understand English, but learned quickly. “It felt like he was just there waiting for us. Once he became part of our family, he never looked back and just wanted to experience every new adventure that he could,” says mother, Courtney, who is the Adult Crew Chief and Social Media Lead for the relay.
While Jakob’s parent knew he would be developmentally delayed to some extent learning a new language and having limited “outside of the orphanage” experience, Courtney knew that something wasn’t right as early as 4 years old. “He was so articulate, expressive, and social as a 4-year-old, well beyond his peers, but the minute you put a pencil and paper in front of him or asked him to identify letters, numbers or words, it is like the lights went out,” explains Courtney.
It wasn’t until Jakob was 6 in Australia that he could officially be tested for dyslexia. By that point, Jakob had lost all of his confidence in school. He hated his work, thought he was stupid, and would cry when he had to go to school or do any homework.
While Jakob changed schools and received new accommodations, he needed further intervention and the family finally moved back to Houston in January 2015 just so Jakob could attend The Briarwood School. “When my husband, Wayne, and I found out about The Briarwood School, we knew this could change his life forever. While I was not able to transfer with my job, I knew I could get another job, but Jakob would never get another chance as a kid to be happy and build his foundation,” said Courtney.
Kerry Yonushonis wrote -
Between May 19 – 21, 2017, weather dependent, a team of student swimmers will attempt a historic open water swim by swimming the length of Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The distance is approximately 30 miles, with each swimmer completing a portion of the swim in a rotating relay format.
All of the swimmers have dyslexia or have a family member / friend with dyslexia they are supporting. In addition, this event is being organized by Marathon Open Water Swimmer and Stellar Dyslexic, Kerry Yonushonis, along with her Business Partner and Stellar Mother of a Dyslexic, Courtney Turpin.
Each team member will raise funds for NoticeAbility, a non-profit dedicated to helping students with dyslexia identify their unique strengths and build their self-esteem. They incorporate the neuroscience of dyslexia, the best practices of special education, and the technology of Silicon Valley to construct learning curricula and teacher training programs for global distribution.
ABOUT NOTICEABILITY: NoticeAbility is a nonprofit organization that designs and delivers proprietary curricula to students with dyslexia. Grounded in social-emotional learning research, executive function methodology and project management techniques, NoticeAbility offers authentic inquiry experiences in vocational subjects that cater to the neurological strengths of the dyslexic mind: entrepreneurship, engineering, architecture and narrative storytelling (film, literature and stage).
Your donation helps NoticeAbility create curriculum for and by dyslexics.
*TO DONATE BY CHECK*
- Please make checks payable to 'New Profit Inc”
- In memo line mention PLEASE mention 'NoticeAbility Inc'
New Profit Inc.
Attn: P. Dao / NoticeAbility
200 Clarendon Street, Floor 44
Boston, MA, 02116
NoticeAbility will be following Kerry’s preparation and swim this summer on social media.
Kerry's Facebook: Kerry Swims for Dyslexia
NoticeAbility Facebook: NoticeAbility
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