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Francesca Cademartori Receives the Widener Youth Leadership Award

 students at presentation on learning differences

New Hope-Solebury High School junior Francesca Cademartori has been recognized as a winner of the Widener University High School Leadership Awards presented by Widener University and WCAU-TV NBC-10. Francesca joins an impressive roster of 129 student leaders from high schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, who have been recognized for their ability to stand up for what they believe in and to speak out on behalf of others. 

Francesca’s capacity for leadership has shined in her efforts to advocate for those with learning differences. Once Francesca was diagnosed in 4th grade, she embraced her Dyslexia and has helped to pave the way for students with learning differences and in need of accommodations. 

Francesca is committed to helping others understand the struggles she and her peers with learning differences experience both in and out of the classroom. Reading a restaurant menu, distinguishing your left from your right, learning to drive—all of these seemingly routine activities can be a challenge for those with dyslexia. However, Francesca says, “I view my Dyslexia as a strength. I believe that people with disabilities and learning differences have more advantages than disadvantages—with a disability you can see things differently from everyone else.”

Francesca’s message is powerful and has resonated with others. To further her reach, she joined an advocacy group, STAMP - Students Teaching Advocacy through Mentoring Program, in Princeton, New Jersey and underwent a year-long training program to become an ambassador. As an ambassador, she has mentored younger children with learning differences and shared her experiences at regional and state conferences, as well as presenting at the International Learning Disabilities Association of America Conference for the past two years.

Here at New Hope-Solebury, she started the Dyslexia Advocacy Support and Awareness Club. The group engages teachers and students in conversations about learning differences and explores how to create a positive environment for those with learning disabilities.  She has also started her own mentoring program “Differences Make a Difference” and serves on the advisory board of EmpathEd, a professional development program exploring Learning Disabilities and Other Health Impairment. Moving forward, Francesca plans to study education and disability studies and pursue a career as an educational and disability rights attorney.

To learn more about this honor, click here