Why do I support ReadWest as the President of the Board of Directors? I was totally illiterate at the age of 16 and dropped out of high school to save myself the embarrassment and humiliation of being labeled “slow”.
Fast forward 46 years and I now have a BA in Human Resource Management, an M.Ed. in Organizational Development, and a Ph.D. certificate in Evidence-Based Leadership.
I could hold a conversation as well as anyone else my age or older, but when it came to reading assignments or writing papers, after a while, I just gave up. As this trend became more and more evident, I went from being “slow” to being “lazy”. Being slow is something people can empathize with; being lazy is something people in my life (family, friends, teachers) often judged, criticized, and resented me for.
By the time I was 30, with a great deal of effort, I was able to function at a good job at Ford Motor Company, but was still what would be considered functionally illiterate. It was a daily struggle to perform the administrative tasks that go with many jobs. When I was critically aware of this problem, the people I worked for started noticing it as well. The day the situation came to a head, I saw a news segment about adults with ADHD and the issues they faced. It was me to a tee. My first weekend on medication I read half of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. My life changed forever.
Now it is time for me to give back. That’s why I am giving time and money to ReadWest. ReadWest has over 280 UNPAID tutors working with over 350 individuals a year. What is even more incredible is ReadWest provides its tutoring services for FREE. If I had these services when I was 20, I might have been in college instead of working as a day laborer.
Almost every day we hear stories from our adult students about how our services have changed or are changing their lives. Those student success stories and my own story are why I am happy to give my time as President of the ReadWest Board. I invite you to join me in donating to ReadWest, Inc. Together we can do more.
Dennis Nagle, M.Ed., A.C.C.
President, Board of Directors