George Mason University

Redefining Excellence

Mason is...Inclusive and Accessible

Focused on Your Future

Taylor Washington plays soccer

When Taylor Washington was diagnosed with dyslexia, he said, “I really decided to own it. I’m going to overcome adversity. This is going to make me stronger, and it has." In February 2016, Washington was signed by Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. He hopes to finish his degree in integrative studies with a concentration in elementary education by taking classes through Mason Online.

Getting a Read on His Future

Taylor Washington will never forget the moment in August 2012 when he was diagnosed with dyslexia.

After wondering for so long why he always had so much trouble in school, “and thinking I was stupid,” the diagnosis was unburdening and empowering.

“I really decided to own it,” the George Mason University senior said. “I’m going to overcome adversity. This is going to make me stronger, and it has. I have a newfound sense of going after everything and knowing I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

Three years later, Washington is proving his point.

He is a star defender and a captain on Mason’s soccer team, and after a successful summer playing for D.C. United’s under-23 developmental club, he is a potential pro prospect. An integrated studies major, his 3.5 GPA last semester landed him on the Atlantic 10 Conference’s honor roll.

“It’s been everything I wanted it to be,” Washington said of his time at Mason, “and more.”

Washington transferred to Mason from Boston University in spring 2013 because Mason offered greater assistance for students with learning disabilities, his father, Marc, said.

Washington first majored in biology at Mason, but, despite a 3.87 GPA, he had so much trouble deciphering the material, especially in chemistry, that he changed to integrated studies with a concentration in elementary education because much of the work is participatory or observational.

Software that reads highlighted texts aloud helps him through lessons. Another program writes papers as he dictates. Textbooks are provided, if possible, as audio books, and he is tutored through the Intercollegiate Athletics Department and the Office of Disability Services.