The following Omdenken story tells the life story of a Dutch young poet originating from the island of Curaçao who is diagnosed with dyslexia. Dyslectic people are often perceived as ‘unintelligent’ or ‘lazy’. Gershwin Bonevacia was no different, in primary school he was strongly advised to move onto special need education as his teachers were convinced his intelligence level was far below average.
Gershwin is happy to tell that the teachers’ assessment turned to be far from accurate. Now at 24 he is a much sought-after poet and writer who is awarded with several literary prizes. In addition, he is a keynote speaker for blue chip companies such as ING and Google.
The key to turning his weakness into a strength is playing. By playing with words Gershwin immersed himself in language. Playing with words on a daily basis became his passion. He turned words into sentences into rhyme schemes into poems. The negative situation became a life changing turning point and poetry became Gershwin’s new way of voicing his emotions. In an interview with The Huffington Post he recognizes his ability of flip-thinking.
Gershwin’s current objective is to finish his Bachelor’s degree as he continues to work on his vision to make youngsters aware of the power of words. With his popular events “I speak” he gives speech to young poets.
In the United States more than 10 million people have dyslexia. Even though research shows that dyslexia has a positive relation to creative thinking and strong reasoning skills, dyslectic people and their issues with reading still get attributed to a lack of intelligence or effort. Find out more: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/MDAI/NHIndependent.html.