Brayden Harrington has found the confidence to speak up — and he hopes to inspire other kids like him who stutter.
Harrington, 13, met President Biden last February during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Biden grew up with a stutter, and he offered Harrington some advice: "Don't let it define you. You are smart as hell." Harrington and Biden remained in touch, with the teen speaking at the Democratic National Convention and again during Wednesday's "Celebrating America" inaugural special, when he delivered JFK's iconic inaugural line: "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."
Harrington will soon share his story in a picture book, Brayden Speaks Up, set to be published on Aug. 10. It won't be his only book — next year, Harrington will release a second title for older kids. In a statement, Harrington said he was "so nervous" during his speech at the Democratic National Convention, but "what got me through and helped motivate me was knowing I could be a voice for other children who stutter as well as anyone else who has faced challenges. I only hope my story provides a little extra support and motivation for those that need it." Catherine Garcia
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.