Jovan Haye is a NFL football player who was drafted right out of university into the Carolina Panthers. He has recently published a book about the challenges of his upbringing, including his severe dyslexia.
Haye was born in Jamaica and raised in Florida, where his football talent was only recognized in his penultimate year of secondary school. As a child, he lived in a violent area, in a low income district, and in an often unsupportive home environment. He struggled hugely in school, due to severe undiagnosed dyslexia.
It wasn’t until middle school that he learned about his dyslexia and set out determined to conquer it. And conquer it he did. Contrary to the stereotype of professional athletes who live and breathe for the game, he graduated high school with a 4.5 grade point average. After earning a spot on the honor roll in all four years of high school, he gained a scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, where he also began his football career.
His book is titled, Bigger Than Me: How a Boy Conquered Dyslexia to Play in the NFL.
Haye says, “Being a former pro athlete, people often see only the surface. My book offers an inside look at who I really am and how I battled and overcame my biggest challenges. I want people to understand that they are not alone. We all have challenges, but with faith, forgiveness, determination, and perseverance, success is inevitable!”
Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for Morgan Learning Solutions, publishers of the Easyread System. Easyread is an online course that specialises in helping children with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, poor memory and more.