David Flink Accepts 2021 CNN Hero Award Representing All Who Learn Differently

On December 12th, 2021, David Flink, Eye to Eye’s Founder and CEO, was honored to join the nine other finalists for the 2021 CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute award ceremony, where he represented all who learn differently! CNN created the Heroes designation for “everyday people doing extraordinary things to change the world” and honored the nominees during the 15th annual tribute, which aired live on CNN from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Favorite Quote

Tonight, we further the fight to combat ableism….all brains are beautiful."

—David Flink

Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, both of whom are impacted by learning differences, presented the award to Flink. Cooper shared, “In the United States, 1 in 5 children has Attention Deficit Disorder or other learning differences like dyslexia, as I do.” Ripa added that her son Joaquin has become an exceptional student after receiving accommodations because of his dyslexia and dysgraphia and “it’s made all of his other skills that much stronger.”

To receive this honor at this time is momentous for students with learning disabilities. As you’ve heard, I am someone who is proudly dyslexic and ADHD. Whether you are part of the 20% that has an invisible disability (like me) or the 80% who are our allies, we need 100% of us to rethink our approach to supporting young people with learning disabilities. Tonight, we further the fight to combat ableism. CNN thank you for giving us a platform to share the story of what is right with people with learning disabilities. All brains are beautiful.

As part of the recognition, David Flink was awarded a $10,000 cash donation to advance the work of Eye to Eye. You too can help support this work and bring Eye to Eye to more schools nationwide. When you make a gift today you:

  • Eliminate the stigmatizing of kids because they learn differently
  • Ensure that our students know that their brains are beautiful
  • Empower students to know their needs & have the confidence to ask for it

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