If you are someone like me and something deep down inside you has always wanted to write your thoughts down on paper, but felt you “knew” that it was something that was not possible, what did you do? For me, it was not even on the tables in my life and I believed it was something that was unachievable, but look at me now at 71 years old I can read!
When I think back to the hardest part of writing for me, I would have to say it was and still is how to begin to put my thoughts down on paper. What thoughts do I start with first and how do I get enough courage within myself to finish it? But mostly, how do I believe that my thoughts are worth putting down on paper and that someone will even want to read them. Putting my thoughts down on paper is like making little movies starring the inner most thinking patterns of my existence. In my mind, they play constantly during my every waking moment.
Before coming to Project Second Chance, I did not know that I had never received the most basic fundamental keys essential to understand the rules needed to read. For example, I did not know that each letter had a sound and each sound combines to make a word. I had been through several different learning programs and reading programs throughout my teenage years and early 20’s with only minor progress and with no changes in my reading abilities. One might say, what are the keys that I have received since coming to PSC? First, I can now read and read with understanding. Second, I can remember what I have read and I am able to read instructions and follow through with them. Most importantly, another part of my understanding has opened up inside my inner most being to a great world of understanding.
So, what would I like to say to adults who have a learning disability or in other words can’t read? I would like to say to you that I know you feel like it is unfair and now it’s too late for your mind to learn and retain the knowledge that is needed to read. But it is not too late! Here at Project Second Chance, you will gain so much other insight and knowledge from learning how to read. Numerous doors have opened up to me since learning to read and now I even have the choice of which door I want to go through!
In closing, if you can’t read or spell I know that you, yes even “you” can learn. I thought it was impossible too, but look at me now. I have gone farther than I have ever hoped for or dreamed that it was even possible. Just think, I went from not knowing that the letters of the alphabet had their own sounds, to finishing my first English course at Los Medanos College with an (A) and I have already registered for next semester classes. If I can do it, so can YOU!!!
-Gladys Leeks, former student and current PSC Board Member