My high school education in Prescott, Arizona, was curtailed before I could graduate. Undaunted, I went to work in a variety of industries: retail sales, hospitality, care-giving, and music. Because music is my great love, I distinguished myself as a drummer in punk rock and pop bands at a time when female drummers were unique. The life was exciting and offered boundless adventures.
A Catalyst for Change:
Although successful in these venues, I felt a recurring sensation that something was missing. I’m legally blind; I was born this way. I adapted and often had to conceal my blindness to be accepted. But deep down, I knew I wanted to teach. I wanted to ensure that no other student would have to struggle to gain an education as I did.
A Journey on the Path Called “Life”:
I arrived in New Mexico shortly before the pandemic—after I lost my husband to cancer. This was going to be my new home where I could start a new life. Over the years, I had tried to enroll in college several times to finish my degree. However, life always seemed to get in the way. I attempted to enroll in college—only to find that I needed to go back and get my high school equivalency. Back in the day, I just took a test and went into college.
ReadWest Has Given Me All the Tools I Need:
Throughout the pandemic, I tried several programs. After many failed attempts, a wonderful counselor at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) told me about ReadWest Adult Literacy. In addition to being blind, I have many learning disabilities; I hate the word disability because it simply isn’t true. Everyone can learn, and ReadWest’s educational programs focus on that fact.
ReadWest’s staff is incredible, coming up with several ways to assist me, including large screen televisions, information provided in accessible formats, and one-on-one tutors with the gift of patience as well as expertise in content. The staff really wants me to succeed. My experience at ReadWest is helping me to become a better teacher. I taught Braille as a volunteer for ten years, as well as music. I vow never to stop learning and growing. Everyone is capable of learning when people take the time to teach.
I will leave you with a quote from Led Zeppelin: “It’s never too late to change the road you’re on!”
If it’s change you want, ReadWest is a great starting point that meets students where they are and takes them to where they want to be.