I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was in first grade. Before my diagnoses I was continuously getting into trouble for interrupting class. My mother knew that this wasn’t normal behavior for me and put pressure on my school to find out what was the root cause.
The school suggested I should be tested for a learning disability. Once the results came back, they knew that I needed to be held back a year and, with tutoring, I could become a successful student.
My mother wasn’t satisfied. She thought I couldn’t be the only child with these types of issues and wanted to make sure others weren’t being left behind. She appeared before a 20-person school board to fight for all students to have access to the testing and tutoring in the classroom.
Parents came forward to put enough pressure on the school to force them to have in-school tutoring sessions, which helped many of my classmates and generations of students after me. Because of my mother, I got to see the power of activism up close. It proved to me that putting the time and energy into a worthy cause can make the changes we all strive to see.
Today, on International Women’s Day, I give thanks to my mother for her drive to see her son succeed and to all the other women who are lending their voice to the fight for the children in their communities.