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Never back down

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As a society, we recognize a wide variety of disabilities. Over the years people who have them have been called many things from disabled to handicapped and today are more often identified as challenged. Some of these medical conditions are detected and others are not, but nearly every person in his, or her, life will deal with one personally, or will know someone who does. Dyslexia is one that is very common and one that many people do not understand. Those who understand it best have had to deal with it themselves because it can be unique to each person that is diagnosed. Being diagnosed at the age of nine, and through my struggles I have learned a lot about this common condition.
I believe the areas where people struggle most is when we are faced with the most difficult challenge that makes us have to search deep within ourselves to determine if we want to overcome what seems like an impossible situation. It is as if a concrete wall has been constructed in the in the middle of the road we are going down. When this happens we can choose to back down from the fight of getting past it by turning and running, or you can take the bull by the horns and face the obstacle head on by climbing over or smashing through that concrete wall to keep going down the road to where you eventually find your dreams.
Since I was very young I have dreamed about going to play football at a Division I University. The first step to get into a University is to have a great education and good grades from your high school. Several years ago, this situation caused a concrete wall to get dropped onto the road that my dreams are on.

When I started school in the first grade, I was the best in my class in Math, but I never did well on the reading and writing, and it was not because of a lack of effort, because I tried very hard. I went through my first and second grades struggles, having to put at least twice as much time and effort as anyone else in my class to try to figure out how to correctly read and write. When I got into third grade, my parents finally had enough of dealing with my frustrations that I was tested for dyslexia at Scottish Rite Children Hospital in Dallas. The test came back positive that not only was I dyslexic, but that my case was more severe than most other cases. The doctors at the hospital said that the results proved that my disability was the reason for my struggles in reading and writing, and recommended that for my dyslexia I would require some classroom modifications that would help me in the classroom as well as some specific training.

I was immediately put into a dyslexia program outside of my regular class which I did not care for. I did not care for it because I had to read and write even more then I already had to do in my class. I had to use an overlay on my papers, I spent many extra hours having assignments read out loud to me, I was assigned a peer tutor to help me, I was taught by a dyslexic coordinator how to understand how my brain processed information, and eventually I developed an ability to learn outside of reading which takes twice as long as most students. It took me a long time to realize that this program was the only way for me to be able to continue on my path to be able to reach my dreams. Once I figured out that the class was the only way to get me in the best situation to prepare and get into college, I took my class very serious, and my dedication to my reading and writing increased more than ever before, because I was determined to overcome any and all obstacles that would stand in my way, or in the middle of the road I was choosing to go down.

I eventually graduated from the dyslexia program when I finished six grade, and I took on the challenge to make all A’s through middle school. I was able to make all A’s through middle school with a lot of hard work, and I continued to keep pushing on by trying to get the best grade out of anyone in my class even being dyslexic as I continued into high school. After my freshman year I was in the top ten percent of my class. I carried a grade point average of over 4.0. I kept my class rank through my sophomore year by finishing 18th in my class and having a 4.16 GPA. I am continuing my efforts which are resulting in maintaining my high expectation, although because I moved to a school that is much more demanding academically has presented me with an even bigger challenge due to my modifications being removed. My journey to this point would have been impossible without all of my hard work into my dyslexia program back when I was going up, and without my commitment to never back down I would have never been in the top 10 percent.

In many circumstances throughout our life we will be faced with difficult moments and situations that may discourage us from pressing forward and continuing down the road we are on. I believe that dedication and determination will help us all overcome those challenges when they jump in front of you, and the desire to keep your eyes focused on your dreams is very important. I have applied this philosophy to all that I do, and I have learned to never back down from even the most difficult challenge. Life is a journey, and nobody said it was going to be easy.



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