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Eye to Eye Student Mentors Reach The White House in First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative

New York, NY (July 23, 2015) – Eye to Eye will be represented by student Jake Young of Peak to Peak, Lafayette, Colo., as well as student Matt Pashby Jr. (St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco), as two of more than 130 students from a mix of urban, rural, foster, homeless, special needs, and under-represented youth across the United States selected to participate in the Beating the Odds Summit, an event hosted as part of a national initiative put forth by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Pashby Jr. and Young were selected among thousands of students nationwide whose labels of various forms of learning disabilities (LD), dyslexia and ADHD have brought them into the community of Eye to Eye, the only national mentoring organization founded by, run by, and for people with LD / ADHD.

With statistics that overwhelmingly reflect the challenges students with learning disabilities face in graduating high school and even slimmer numbers advancing to college and graduating, the mission of Eye to Eye is consistent with the purpose of the Reach Higher initiative.

A robust agenda encompasses a panel moderated by E! News host Terrence Jenkins and feature First Lady Michelle Obama, joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, musical artist Wale, and Manuel Contreras, a Brown University senior.

Participants will learn about available tools and strategies they can use to successfully transition to college and beyond.

Eye to Eye was originally co–founded at Brown University by Chief Empowerment Officer David Flink more than 17 years ago. The nonprofit organization has grown to 50 chapters in 20 states, delivering more than 68,000 hours of volunteer service provided by and on behalf of students with labels of learning disabled, ADHD and dyslexia.

"I am deeply honored to be a part of the Beating the Odds Summit at The White House and to be meeting First Lady Michelle Obama and all of the other remarkable people focused on youth like me who learn differently. Through my work as a mentor with Eye to Eye, I have had experiences I could never have imagined that have changed me, my future and the future of the kids I mentor. These are the kinds of opportunities that inspire all of us every day to 'Reach Higher'," said Young.

"I am so honored to represent such a large group of people who think different and who are so similar to me. Having the chance to go to The White House to make a positive change and represent such an amazing group of people is one of the proudest moments of my life. I'm thrilled to be working with Eye to Eye and being able to make positive impact on others' lives," Pashby Jr.

To follow the Beating the Odds conversation and participate and support the activity via social media:

Jake Young of Peak to Peak, Lafayette, Colo.,Matt Pashby Jr., St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco

Media Inquiries: For more details and additional photos, contact Fred Miggins at 212-537-4429 ext. 3. Visit

Eye to Eye: With 50 chapters throughout the U.S., Eye to Eye is the only national mentoring movement that pairs kids labeled as "learning disabled" or LD / ADHD – or, as Co–Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer David Flink says, who "learn differently" – with similarly labeled college students as mentors. An art–based curriculum helps mentees build essential self–esteem and value their own unique minds and inspires them to advocate for their needs in the classroom. The mentoring movement affects everyone involved, creating a new understanding of learning differences and raising expectations of those who carry that