I have had the pleasure to facilitate a program at the Entrance – the Dyslexia Retreat away from home – last week with a bright 28-year old Englishman. Nick (I changed his name) wants to get ahead in life, out of the building industry or moving up in the same industry.
In either case, his literacy levels kept him back – and despite his hard-working attitude and intelligence, his confidence was rather poor and a result of a traumatic life and school experience. The entire week was filled with these ‘aha-moments’ that make our work so worthwhile.
At the end of the week, I asked Nick to summarize his experience for me – and that’s what he wrote:
“Now, I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. For the first time in my life, I am excited to learn, to read – I can’t wait to. There are a lot more opportunities for me now.
I feel I turned from a rock to a sponge.
I used to be frustrated just to fill out a form. I wouldn’t even be able to look at the form, like it was some terrible stress and strain on my mind. I’d leave it and push it away until the last minute. Strange, now the idea of doing that feels like an opportunity to learn and I am excited about that.
I am looking forward to reading a book from cover to cover. I’m thinking more when I am writing – I like to be correct and do things in the right way. I am like that at work and now I am like that with writing too. When I wrote my first text yesterday without a single mistake, I felt really happy.”
Now, Nick is back home and sent me the first text – a very long text too – on how he just bought all these healthy things to cook, as our meals in the past week so inspired him and stopped his sugar cravings.
Then he bought his first book and found it hard to choose, as there were so many that jumped out at him – he now can’t wait to read ‘the Girl on the Train’.
He wrote, “I am very grateful for your help. You are an inspiration and I want you to know that you should be very proud of what your are doing. You’re making a real difference in people’s lives; maybe more than you know.” Well, I know that he’d be proud to have used the semicolon here so cleverly – and I was pleased to see it.
He continued, “Got up this morning, feeling great. I made myself a nice work space, did my health food shop and got my first book. It took so long picking one, there are so many to choose from,…” and he’d be equally pleased that he’s one of the few people know who knows that these three dots are ellipsis and he knows how to spell that word too.
Keep up the great work, Nick – very proud of you!