THIS IS OUR STORY
Allow me to introduce myself…
My name is Deidra Mayberry, Growing up 1 of 7 children in the house and constant military moves, it was hard always being the new kid. That became even more difficult with the discovery that I struggled with reading. I began hiding my struggle with reading so that I wouldn’t be made fun of, and would be liked by the other kids. Feeling that I would not be accepted because of my struggle to read, at a young age, I began to feel that I had the weight of the world on me.
One parent worked multiple jobs to help provide while the other one was deployed and I was placed in special education classes. I was terrified! Once again, the new kid in town, being pulled out of my classes, and placed into Special Ed. Intentionally late to class, I was trying to spare myself the embarrassment of other kids seeing me walk in the special education classroom.
My grades began to improve and with a lot of parental support I was removed from Special Ed classes, but then realized that I had not been learning the same curriculum as the other kids for the past 3 years. Not feeling worthy to be in the same class as the other kids, afraid of being exposed and made fun of, I began hiding my struggle with reading again. Seeking acceptance, I became a people pleaser to make sure I belonged somewhere.
The next 4 years I tried my hardest just to catch-up with the hope and dream to graduate. I remember sharing that I wanted to be a psychologist and a school official directed me to rethink that because I was not smart enough. That day my imagination to dream died. All the desire to do great things disappeared as I no longer felt equipped or worthy of more.
Upon graduating high school, I understood that if I wanted to do more, I needed to be able to read. I began research (Google) to find reading classes, only to discover programs were for grade school children, 17 and younger. The light at the end of the tunnel was that I could take a program for adults, as soon as I came up with a couple thousand dollars. Even if I could get past the embarrassment of using Hooked On Phonics, how do I teach myself? I switched into survival mode. I played it safe trying to pursue a degree in Business. But even with help, I barely made C’s. Making it through college, I was so proud.
I continued to struggle after college, missing out on jobs and other opportunities, again feeling limited in my abilities. Finding the courage to share with a friend (certified educator), she started tutoring me discreetly and years later I could afford some personal lessons.
My passion to start this Non-Profit grew out of the hope and prayer that no one shares the struggle, limitations, and lack of self-worth that I felt and experienced because I could not read.
Adult Learners – Here is your place to improve your reading skills, opportunities, and remove limitations.
Volunteers/Donors – Your support improves our communities, individual opportunities, and gives back through a cause that breaks the limitations placed on a forgotten and left behind population.
In the words of George Eliot, “It is never too late, to be what you might have been.”
We are here to Read to New Heights.
Executive Director of Reading to New Heights