Doreen’s struggle with reading stems from her childhood, which was impacted by a debilitating illness known as Lupus. She often didn’t want to eat as a child as her condition affected her physically and mentally.
“I was the youngest of eight children, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me for a while, but then I was diagnosed with Lupus,” she said. “It did impact me and my learning and my health. I just struggled. I struggled in school and struggled to learn to read.”
Fortunately, Doreen graduated high school and was very involved in her church. More than 30 years ago, she met her now husband at her church but was afraid to tell him about her reading struggles when they were dating. She was embarrassed and concerned about what he might say.
“I had to be honest and finally tell him,” she confessed. “Luckily, he said he didn’t care! We’ve been married for over 30 years, and he is so smart.”
While married, Doreen worked at a steady job for more than 25 years before retiring medically due to Lupus complications. She said she would use sight words to get by at work but was embarrassed when people like her supervisor would notice her reading struggles. However, she was highly organized and well-loved and completed her job proficiently.
After retiring, Doreen was more than ready to put her literacy woes behind her. After hearing about this program from her brother, she joined Reading to New Heights more than two years ago after several failed attempts with other literacy programs that did not work for her. She was so excited to start this long-time-awaited journey with a new program.
“I’ve been praying for a program like this since I was a child so that I could learn how to read. I am so grateful,” exclaimed Doreen.
Doreen has had great success and now reads with confidence. She meets virtually with her instructor twice a week and has developed a special bond. One day, by happenstance, she was discussing her progress in the program with her brother and discovered that they have the same instructor!
“It makes for great conversations between the two of us, and we’re both learning a lot because [our instructor] really puts all of her time into making sure you understand,” she said. “We’re both just so grateful for her and the program.”
Doreen has so many aspirations after joining the program, including starting a YouTube channel and authoring her first book.
“This is one of the best programs ever! I have tried all the other ones, but this one gives you the understanding you need,” she says. “I’m reading now. I am more confident, and I want to write a book. If I can do it, so can everyone who struggles with reading.”