APD sergeant shares learning challenge to inspire youth

In the wake of controversy among law enforcement, an Austin Police sergeant with a learning challenge is using his story to shine a positive light and inspire his community.

Recent police-involved shootings and attention across the globe may have left a mark on law enforcement's reputation. In the wake of this, Austin's own Sergeant Richard Ellsworth wants to share his personal story of victory and being an inspiration to Austin's future police force.

“I've had learning struggles throughout my life,” he said.

Ellsworth has dyslexia. It's something he has seen his kids show symptoms of as well.

“The teacher was doing some numeric formulas up on the board and my daughter stopped in the middle of class and said ‘hey I'm not understanding what you're doing, but I'm coming up with the same answer as you are,’” he said.

You could know someone with it. It affects as much as twenty percent of people.

“Particular areas of the brain that are responsible for remembering sound and symbol information are not really being used,” Barbara Chiles, reading specialist, said.

So what does this mean? It certainly is not something Ellsworth sees as a disability. He shows that attitude through his community service, helping children with dyslexia learn to read, right here in the capital city.

“This correlates with things we do on a daily basis within the community especially working with young children. There are a lot of brilliant people in this world with dyslexia. Some of them are Walt Disney, and Steven Spielberg,” Ellsworth said.

“We want to make sure that our kids know that we're supportive of them and their reading accomplishments,” Antwain Tarver, officer, said.

The goal of Ellsworth sharing his story, is to shine a light on officers, showing they have their challenges, but want to inspire children to chase their dreams, despite the obstacles.

“I view dyslexia as a challenge and not a disability,” Ellsworth said.