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Leigh from James Madison University

“I was identified as having a learning disability during first grade. For the next twelve years my family was constantly in a battle with the school system to be sure my needs were met and my self-esteem was being torn down every year I was in school. I was teased by my peers and believed myself to be dumb and broken. All I knew was that school work was more difficult for me than everyone else and I did not understand why. It felt like I was being punished. The school system was shocked to have a student with a label of learning disabilities who earned grades of A’s and B’s, even in honors and AP level course, just a few years earlier they did not believe I would be going to college.

Because the school had never worked with a student with a learning disability who would continue on to college they were not able to provide guidance in the transition process. They neglected to create a transition plan and gave me the wrong battery of tests during my junior year triennial. Regardless of this frustrating start to college, I have bloomed here. Academically, I have dean’s list standing and socially I’m having so much fun I never want college to end. I have found wonderful support groups and have had many wonderful opportunities to be involved in many activities. Just to be here and do the things I’m doing has made those twelve years worth it.”