Libby Bender

Libby Bender was born and raised in Houston, Texas and attended Memorial High School. During high school, she developed an interest in marketing and communications and decided to follow that passion as she entered college. Libby is a currently a rising sophomore at The University of Texas in Austin where she is a PR major and also purses a minor in business. During elementary school however, Libby struggled with dyslexia, but with the support of her tutor and her family she successfully overcame the obstacle.

In elementary school, Libby always knew she was a slow reader but didn’t know there was a real issue until her teacher suggested that she get tested for dyslexia as she observed Libby’s reading and writing struggles. Her struggle with dyslexia wasn’t easy in the beginning; she felt embarrassed at first among the other kids and didn’t want to seem different or not as smart as them. However, her parents made sure she didn’t feel different or left out. She was assigned a tutor to meet with 2-3 times a week for extra help and by the end of elementary school, Libby was able to read as well as the rest of her grade. She recalls how her tutor “was like a comforting motherly figure.” She acknowledges the importance to always build on one’s weaknesses and never give up. She is a perfect example of how one's weakness can act as motivation and drive, which allowed her to become a thriving college student.

Libby is currently an intern at the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Applying to this specific non-profit related to her own challenges and her strong will to help learn about education and literacy. Her favorite part about the university is the “caring professors and their willingness to help after working hours,” because she was a firsthand witness of how extra attention goes a long way in education.