Remembering your Strengths

I travel by train frequently. It is a simple, cost efficient, and “green” way of travel. Most of the time I catch up on my reading, but recently I struck up a conversation with a woman, named Melissa, who immediately told me she is dyslexic. You can imagine if someone asks me what I do for a living, that this response is not surprising. What is surprising is what transpired. Melissa is a very successful engineer, who in elementary school could not read or spell, but she could figure out the math assigned to her. In school, she worked hard to figure out how to be successful, and the end result was that she attended a very selective West Coast university (  she grew up outside of Philadelphia) and after college she went to work in engineering related fields, and now is working on developing her own business around attitudes and profiling in engineering in the Washington D.C. area. She is interested in trying to figure out how to eliminate bias in hiring engineers.  As we traveled on the train, I kept encouraging Melissa to reach out to her local school district and tell others her story. Melissa does not think she has anything to say. She has lots to say, and I will encourage her and our students to tell people their story. By telling the story, people will help you and as we tell our parents and students, self-advocacy will help others learn the other skills you do have.

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