Overcoming the odds

Student battles adversity and succeeds

By Christian Hunick
On March 1, 2018

Contributed Photo
Megan Steffeck has overcome obstacles in her life to be where she is today.

Senior Megan Steffek was diagnosed with dyslexia in the fourth grade, but through hard work and determination she has become an honor student involved with numerous organizations at ASU.

Steffek was born in Houston, but her family moved to south Austin when she was two years old.

"My parents didn’t want me just to get the city feel of life: they wanted me to also get the country side, so during the summer and winter break I would go stay with my grandparents in Hallsville," Steffek said.

Steffek said she discovered her love for animals during her visits to the country, prompting her to pursue a career as a veterinarian.

"I would help my grandfather work cows when I was younger and watch the whole process. I was very interested in shots, branding, and working with large and small animals."

When Steffek was in elementary school, her teachers noticed that she struggled to keep up with the reading levels of the other children. Test results revealed that she had dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects reading and related language-based processing skills.

"It’s hard for me to focus on the words I’m reading because I will see them one way, but when I read them out loud I will say them flipped," Steffek said.

Students with dyslexia are often allowed extra time to complete exams and can have questions and answer choices read aloud. Even with these accommodations, Steffek said she still felt she had to work harder than most students.

In high school, Steffek made the decision to read the test questions herself instead of having them read to her.

"I figured I wasn’t going to have someone to read for me for the rest of my life, so I might as well get used to doing it on my own," Steffek said.

Now, Steffek prepares to graduate from ASU with a degree in animal science and a double minor in chemistry and biology. In addition, she is a member of the UCPC Concert Committee, Beta Beta Beta, Delta Tau Alpha, Block and Bridle, Order of Omega and Sigma Kappa; she is also a co-chair of the Homecoming Committee, a student orientation leader and a First Gen Rams mentor.

Steffek plans to apply for vet school in Sept. at A&M, the University of Georgia, the University of Colorado, and several others.

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