LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The road to graduation is more difficult for some students than it is for others.
With 13 days left of the school year, one JCPS senior is sharing her remarkable journey to the top of her class.
“I’m looking into maybe nursing or education,” Kendahl Broyles, J. Graham Brown School senior, said. “I know whatever I do, I want to help people.”
Broyles knows the power of a hug and of a helping hand.
“It’s sad to think that kids like me think that they can’t or like they’re different and that they stand out,” Broyles said. “In Kindergarten, in first grade, school was supposed to be something fun for you to learn but it was really hard for me and it really wasn’t enjoyable.”
That changed once Broyles was diagnosed with dyslexia.
But pinpointing the problem made way for a solution. She was held back in second grade and transferred to a private school for specialized help in reading.
“And then I came back to Brown because it’s always been like a home to me,” Broyles said.
But she didn’t just come back - she was a force. She excelled in her studies, learned a second language and during middle school she started tutoring younger students.
“Sometimes I think ‘Kendahl, I want to be like you when I grow up,'" Spanish teacher Heather Anderson said. “She’s amazing.”
Anderson has been one of Broyles’ biggest cheerleaders, watching her as she worked through her learning disorder.
“If you weren’t told this information, you wouldn’t know because she works so hard and it’s not to say that other students don’t, it’s just anything that might be an obstacle no matter what it is, she perseveres,” Anderson said.
Not only is she graduating this year, Broyles at the top of her class. She’s one of 10 valedictorians.
“I enjoy school now because I’ve taught myself, I can do anything I put my mind to - it just might take me a little longer,” Broyles said.
She’ll be attending Western Kentucky University’s Honors College in the fall.
“The thing I’m most proud of isn’t even really school related," Broyles explained. “It’s being able to show people like you can do anything and even if it is harder for you, you can still do it.”