James Van Der Beek, an American actor with a Dutch last name, has had success in show business despite his challenges with dyslexia. He has starred in television shows such as Dawson’s Creek, Mercy, and other big projects, including movies. Van Der Beek knew he wanted to be an actor from age 15, when he asked his mom to take him to New York City to get an agent and start his career. From there, he made appearances in numerous plays and shows throughout his young adulthood. He attended Drew University on an academic scholarship, but eventually decided he wanted to pursue acting full-time instead. Now in his 40s, Van Der Beek has joined the Child Mind Institute's #MyYoungerSelf campaign, encouraging those with mental and learning disabilities to stay positive and reassure them that they are not alone. Van Der Beek’s advice to younger people struggling with dyslexia like he did is this: “You know you aren’t stupid, so don’t ever believe for a second that you are.”

Learn more about Van Der Beek and his involvement in the Child Mind Institute’s campaign here.