Jessica Watson

Youngest to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

The 16-year-old was a preschooler when she was diagnosed with severe dyslexia – the lone child in the class unable to count to 10 or recite the alphabet. But after enduring the stigma of illiteracy, Jessica’s fate changed at age 11 when mum Julie read her Lionheart, the story of Jesse Martin’s solo world voyage.

“What people don’t realize is that I was reading to her because she couldn’t read,” says Watson’s Mum, describing her private pain battling dyslexia in her daughter. “I was helping her access a world she couldn’t reach.”