William Baker III has struggled with dyslexia almost all of his 19 years — he was diagnosed at 18 months as part of a Rutgers University study.

But Baker never dreamed that a summer job selling Cutco knives — $45,000 worth — would enable him to pay for 50 educators to attend The Dyslexia Foundation’s conference on dyslexia at Harvard Medical School in October.

Fate intervened when, last summer, Baker received a letter in the mail from Vector marketing, which promotes Cutco; they offered a scholarship to successful knife salesmen.

“I got the job and saw instant success. The first 10 days of sales, I broke the record of sales for New England,” Baker said. “I was selling knives in the New Bedford area, South Dartmouth, Boston — I took Massachusetts by storm. It was remarkable the amount of success that I saw.”

Baker is, evidently, an unbelievably good knife salesman — he finished the summer ranked as Cutco’s 25th best salesman in the U.S. He also won a college scholarship worth $275, which paid for his textbooks.

Baker donated 15 percent of his July earnings to the Dyslexia Foundation, a donation of $2,500. That paid for 50 teachers from all over New England to attend the Harvard conference.

“By sponsoring these teachers to go to the conference, it was like pay it forward; I got to help another kid somewhere,” he said.

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