Because I struggled so much in school, I want to be an advocate for students who are struggling.

"I’m profoundly dyslexic. I tested in the bottom 1% of dyslexics when comparing what I was able to read versus comprehend. Three years of intensive tutoring with LindaMoodBell and Orton-Gillingham was a great lesson in time management!

Although I can read now, I choose listening (audio books) as opposed to reading and speaking (speech to text) as opposed to writing. That’s how I’ve digested and produced information since 5th grade. I’m lucky because voice activation was just starting to recognize a child’s voice when I needed it.

I was failing in elementary school, but by 7th grade, I was getting all A’s. Everyone was shocked. All the assistive technology that I was using allowed me to demonstrate that I was smart.

I wanted to attend public high school but my Mom realized that our County’s expectations were too low. The Special Education Director told her that they were only obligated to provide an ‘Attendance Diploma’. So I attended a private high school and graduated in their Advanced Placement Program. I grew to be a self advocate. I didn’t have another choice. I had to stand up for myself.

Because I loved rowing crew in high school, I wanted to row crew in college. My high school coach had moved to the college level and invited me for a college visit. I also wanted to study elementary education… was honestly the perfect fit. The college had an awesome accessibility center for my accommodations and had an excellent elementary education program.

Now I’m in the real world, working as a longterm elementary substitute and working on my practicum tutoring a dyslexia student in the Sliding Doors program. I’m also interviewing for permanent jobs in elementary education where I can use an Orton-Gillingham program to teach all students to read. Because I struggled so much in school, I want to be an advocate for students who are struggling. I want to be able to show them that it’s OK to struggle and reassure them that they are going to be OK. Having that connection with kids, whatever they are struggling with and be able to say, ‘I know, I know…it’s really hard.’ I think kids can feel that. They will be able to tell that I do know what it’s like."