“You Won’t Go to College” – Sami’s Story Pt. 1

I have debated on writing this post for a while now. I am proud of my accomplishment, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to share my story with those outside of my life. Then I realized that this community has become my online family. I love writing posts for everyone here to read, so, why not share my story with those that inspire me to continue to do what I do every day. With that being said, here is my story:

Growing Up with a learning disability

Growing up, I was a part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) due to a reading and writing learning disability. I still have this learning disability to this day, I just learned how to work with it. Through the years, I was always behind in class work, but never gave up. They would take me out of class to do extra work, and I’d have to take Measuring Progress tests to see at what grade level I was reading.

When I reached 8th grade, my Measuring Progress tests said that I was reading at a 5th grade level. Even though I tried, I still couldn’t reach the level I was supposed to because of my learning disability. After my test, my teacher sat down with me and explained my options.

Option 1: You can try to go to a Jr. College, but probably won’t complete it with the rate your learning comprehension is progressing.

Option 2: You complete high school and get a job.

Option 3: In high school, you can try to do a half day of school and half day of Vocational-technical school to help you find a better job.

Basically, at age 13 I was told that I should not attend College. I was crushed. My mom has always told me that I would go to college. It almost wasn’t an option not to. I had a dream of attending Kutztown University because that where she went. I wanted to go to the same school as my mom and be just like her.

The Aftermath

After hearing this information, I went home and told my mom what my teacher had said to me. Let’s just say mom did not accept this news. She went to my school the next day to talk to my principle and teacher. Ever since this happened, and even before, my mom has been the #1 supporter of my education (and life to be honest). She told me that there is not a soul in this world that could keep me from going to college if I wanted to go. And because of her, I stepped up my game even more and worked as hard as I could. (Most of the time, I was still a kid, we slack off every now and then.) So when it came to the SAT’s, I would get a score high enough to get into college.

Let’s fast-forward a few years

Senior year of high school, I took my SAT. Knowing what I was told, I studied hard and focused on getting into Kutztown. That was the only school I had applied to, I didn’t even apply to community college because I was determined I would get into KU. After taking my SAT, I freaked out until I got my scores. When I finally got them, I saw that I had a high enough score to attend the college of my dreams. I had tears of joy! After hugging it out with my family, I realized I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I still needed to get accepted. Mom and I filled out the application together and sent it in.

Drum roll please …

A few months before graduation, I WAS ACCEPTED TO KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY! Not only was I accepted to KU, but I was accepted into the Education Department. My life was happy, all that hard work paid off in the end, and I was getting ready to go to Kutztown University and rock it! Then, the next struggle that came to mind was: will my IEP carry over to college? Stay tuned for next week’s blog to see if it did.

Lessons Time:

There have been several lessons I learned through this experience:

Never give up on your dreams,

Work harder than ever to achieve them.

When someone tells you that you can’t do something, accept the challenge and prove them wrong.

Believe in yourself.

If it wasn’t for my mother sticking up for me, I truly believe that I wouldn’t be able to attend college. I think that I would have slacked off and blamed my learning disability. I am thankful for her and for my whole family who supported me through the years. I made it a goal to obtain my Kutztown University degree and take it back to my middle school and show them that even though they said I couldn’t do it, I did.

Until next time, have a great day!

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