To those growing up with an NVLD–
Growing up there were days I thought to myself why do I have an NVLD and my sister is gifted. So I totally understand if you are experiencing some very difficult moments. Truly the people I wrote about are only a fraction of people who be where I am today and I want you to understand “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child.”
To my Cross-Country Coach–
I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me. Right away you taught me to be an incredibly hard worker and supportive teammate which after my first varsity race I understood why. When I crossed the finish line you truly made me feel like I had just broken a section record as you were beyond proud of me. Regretfully other meets caused you much worry however you were always so impressed how nothing brought me down. You truly are the reason why I kept going as you always helped me realize my role as a runner would lead to positive outcomes. You were right, it allowed others to see the real Eileen and for me to be accepted into my first choice of college as the Dean College Arch Director told me many times my running story sealed the deal. Your believing in inclusion truly saved my life and there’s nothing I could do to give you the proper recognition.
To my Speech Therapist–
I can’t thank you enough for realizing the challenges we encountered were the result of me feeling ashamed and frustrated with myself rather than disliking you. Even at my worst times you believed in me and together we made impressive progress. All of this wasn’t easy however your big heart and rich empathy allowed for this to happen. Your room was truly a safe place for me as I knew I was never judged in a negative way. What was really special to me was sharing uncle Wally stories as they provided a lot of laughs. So thank you for forming a relationship with me, you are more than just a former speech therapist. You are a lifelong support/friend and I am beyond thankful.
To my US History Teacher–
Thank you for being the first teacher who never lowered your expectations for me. It truly decreased my insecurities of my sister being the “The Smart one” in the family. I will always remember you worked with me daily to be 100% sure I would be one of the few LD students who passed the regents which I know we are proud to say that I did! Succeeding in your class allowed me to see that my goal of attending a college that had strong support services near a big city was no longer just a dream. I am eternally grateful!
Never forget that is helpful to accept help! I know so well as your achieve great accomplishments you will be so grateful for it.
I will always think the world of Jim Adams, Patty Bell and Mark Henry as they believe in me more than any one. I love them all so much!