OUR BOARD & LEADERSHIP

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Our Founders and Board of Directors

 

Ashley Roberts

Chontae Feldman

 

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Julie McKinley

 

Managing Directors

 

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Our Founders and Board of Directors

 

Team Talk

Our Founders and Board of Directors

 

Team Talk

Our Founders and Board of Directors

 

Team Talk

Our Founders and Board of Directors

 

Managing Directors

 

Team Talk

Our Founders and Board of Directors

 

Regional Leadership

 

OUR FOUNDERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Ashley Roberts, Co-Founder, Executive Director

Hi, I'm Ashley.  I'm a wife, a mother and a parent advocate.  

 

My only child was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia at the age of 7 and it was then that I embraced the dyslexia journey for all it was worth.  When my child hit the wall I immediately learned that my child needed me to stand up for him and be his voice, he needs her to make sure I fight for his legal right to FAPE, and, at all costs, he needs me to protect his right to be learning different yet be himself and thrive so he can be all he can possibly imagine himself to be.

In the beginning of our family's journey we felt terribly alone and did not want anyone else to feel the same way, so as I gained knowledge I felt compelled to pay it forward, meaning, as I learned new things, developed skills, made connections, etc., that I wanted to share that information with others.  It is that desire that has brought me full circle to The Dyslexia Initiative.

I also host my own personal blog, “A Mom’s Journey – My Dyslexic Life” which may be found at the following link, www.amomsjourney-mydyslexiclife.com as well as on Facebook, where I chronicle my family's journey through school and life, advocating for my child.

 

Additional information:

I am a 2nd generation Texan, on my mother’s side.  I hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in English and a MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University.  When I'm not busy being a mom and spending time with my family, I am strategizing, working, planning, etc., for not just my son, but for all dyslexic children.

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Chontae Feldman, Co-Founder, Operational Director

Hi, I'm Chontae. I am a dyslexic and a parent advocate for my kids. 

Growing up, I avoided things I knew I was not good at.  I received my BA in Journalism Advertising with a dash of Marketing (minor). I avoided math and science.  I hid that I had dyslexia. If people found out, they would know I was faking it and not really smart (don't get jumpy, keep reading).

I ended up working in a field that had absolutely nothing to do with my degree and was chock-full of math and science. Seriously, that's all it is.  

I am married to a wonderful man that supports me and all my crazy ideas.  I have two amazing daughters that are smart and super creative.  

It's because of my daughters that I finally researched and learned about my own dyslexia.  I was identified in second grade, and up until 2007, I had been hiding it. I was paranoid my daughter would get it and figured it was time to learn more so they would not grow up hiding it. 

Because of the path I had to take to get my girls services, I set out to help other parents.  I am not an expert or certified in advocacy, but I am a mom who advocated for her kids.  

In 2016 I started a parent support group.  Boy did that take off.  

Both of my girls are getting services and flourishing.   

I am a co-founder of The Dyslexia Initiative.  This is where I have really learned and grown.  I am on the board for my work employee resource group for people with different abilities.  I enjoy planning events, and have done so at work, as well as a dyslexia art show.  I have been a speaker at a couple of events for people with different abilities.  I am just a mom wanting to help other parents find their way.  I may not have all the answers, but I will do my best to point you to a person that can help. 

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Julie McKinley, Co-Founder, Financial Director

Hello, I'm Julie.  I am not dyslexic, but I did marry into the dyslexia family and I have two children; one with dyslexia and one without.

Prior to having my child with dyslexia, I lived in a world of “everything is fine.”  Having a child with dyslexia opened my eyes to the fact that there is a great deal wrong in our educational system, not just for dyslexics, but for non-dyslexics as well.  I began to seek and to question. 

I joined an Employee Resource Group (ERG) at work and vowed to raise awareness within the corporate world for dyslexia as I learned it impacted way more than a school would ever lead you to believe.

As I was seeking and raising awareness, I found Chontae who was doing the same for her work organization, and I knew I found a like mind!

Chontae introduced me to Ashley, and we have shared experiences of the trials and tribulations that come along with this journey, so we co-founded the Dyslexia Initiative to help others; to let people know that they are not alone and to provide resources along the way.

It has been a wild ride to say the least, but with like-minded people, the ride is not as daunting.

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Lindy Jones, Board Secretary, Event Director

Lindy Jones’ journey to The Dyslexia Initiative has been nothing short of amazing. Her challenging journey began with the adoption of her one month old son in 2006 and together they were introduced to world of dyslexia upon a late and formal diagnosis at 10 years old. From day one Lindy had introduced learning systems from her Bachelor of Arts in Education and methods from Maria Montessori to make certain that her son had every opportunity to succeed despite the rocky beginning. Having provided him these coping skills prior to the uphill battle it took to receive his official diagnosis, Lindy and her son were prepared for any challenge. Denial, disapproval, and accusations of dyslexia being a crutch for those that are lazy were just a few of the obstacles that together, Lindy and her son not only conquered, but demolished.

 

Lindy and her family are very proud and excited to help others with their experiences and journey with dyslexia. “The Dyslexia Initiative serving the community connects my passion for providing dyslexia awareness and bonding my community", says Lindy. “Families should never feel alone in their approach to understanding dyslexia.”

 

Lindy Jones has 18 years of service with event coordinating and planning, marketing and dyslexia advocacy in Collin County in a variety of capacities from volunteer to professional. She is a mother of two super hero boys, a study club coordinator, PTA member, and an active dyslexia advocate for her youngest son. Lindy is extremely excited to be part of The Dyslexia Initiative to teach children and adults the importance of volunteering and advocating for special needs.

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Kristin Lindsey, Director

 

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Elisha Kalvass, Director, Manages Community Outreach and Mentorship

 

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Nikki Barner, Director