by LINDA FRABL | photos by Soul of Photography

Thinking Differently

Cecilia Pessoa, who is 12 years old and lives in Del Mar, is eager to start seventh grade at Earl Warren Middle School. She wasn’t always feeling this confident about her future, however, because of her dyslexia. Thankfully her fantastic sixth grade year at Skyline Elementary has made all the difference.

Explaining how the past year improved her love of learning, Cecilia commented, “I have struggled in school and hated the process of learning for years, but this past year I had a teacher, Mrs. Schroeder, who pushed me in a positive way. I also got extra help with my learning issues from great tutors and an amazing support network. I now feel good about myself and this was the first year I have wanted to work towards achieving my goals with confidence.”

One of Cecilia’s goals is to become a surgeon. She exclaimed, “I know becoming a surgeon will be very hard work, but I am up for it! I am interested in heart transplants and other transplants. Just because I have dyslexia does not mean I can’t be a doctor. I think outside the box, and I feel I have an advantage because I think differently.”

student_pessoa2Her favorite subject has always been English, and Cecilia added that “even though reading is a bit of a challenge for me, I enjoy the creativity of it.” Another creative outlet for Cecilia is gymnastics. She currently practices three days a week for three hours at a time at the Gold Excel Level at TRC Gymnastics. She revealed, “Our competition season is from January through May and though it’s very time consuming, I love it and it is fun!”

Cecilia is especially passionate about traveling. She frequently flies all over the world to visit with her dad, who is Brazilian but living in Belgium. Cecilia also recently traveled to Mexico with her sixth grade class to build a house for an underprivileged family. She recalled, “It was a very rewarding, humbling experience, and I learned to appreciate everything I have and to be grateful for everything I am afforded.” We’re grateful for go-getters like Cecilia, who won’t allow personal hardships to stop them from achieving their dreams.

Meet Cecilia

Name: Cecilia “CC” Potter Pessoa (12)
School: Earl Warren Middle School
Grade: 7
Parents: Mom – Keri Potter; Stepdad – Adrian Dollarhide; Dad – Rodrigo Pessoa; Stepmom – Alexa Pessoa
Siblings: Charlotte, Grace, Sophia, and Luciana