Red Bryant is giving back in the best way possible… a meaningful one. The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end is speaking to students not about his battles on the football field, but about his personal battle with dyslexia (a medical condition that causes difficulty in language processing and reading), inspiring and empowering students with learning disabilities along the way.
Diagnosed by the third grade, Red had to overcome his own frustrations and challenges as a student to make it to college and eventually the NFL. Fortunately for Red he had a mentor in his high school teacher, Sue Brooks. Sue played a pivotal role in Red’s life and was one of the first people that helped him realize just because he learned differently didn’t mean he was not intelligent. It’s a powerful message that children and adults with learning disabilities need to hear. He shared this message when he visited students at R.L. Brown Elementary School’s GRASP Choice Academy, a program in the Duval County school system that focuses on children with learning disabilities. Red spoke about his personal challenges with dyslexia.
“I just wanted to let these kids know that it’s okay to learn differently and that just because you’re a different learner than everyone else, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t smart,” Bryant said.
He feels that this program in the Duval County school system is giving children the necessary tools to be successful in the classroom.
Bryant’s own connection to the education system runs deep. Sue Brooks had an incredible impact on his life and now he is giving back. The story is a fascinating one. When one person takes the time and energy to lift, push, encourage and nurture a child the effects can be life altering and astounding. Sue and Red had a bond that led her to help him not only during the recruitment process, but with getting to college and the ACT test. Sue figured out a way to verbally administer the test by getting the clearance to read it to him after several traditional tests had negative results that weren’t indicative of Red’s academic prowess. She was an integral part of Red’s success and always encouraging education and inspiring him to pay it forward.
Bryant plans on making frequent stops by the classrooms to monitor the children’s progression throughout the school year.
To watch the engaging Red Bryant speaking to students, click here:
Did you know….
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and that one in five people suffer from it. Learn more:
For more information about the GRASP Choice Academy program: