I have always wanted to get my education.
As a person who is severely dyslexic, being able to prove your intelligence and ability takes on more importance.
During the years of grade, middle, and high school. I was tested, analyzed, categorized, demoralized, and pushed through the educational system.
I started working legally at age 14. I earned high school credit through my diversified occupations class and the ability to be in school half the day so I could go to work. I believe this was easer and cheaper for the Kelso Washington school system than to put the time and effort into teaching me. In high school I was told the most I could hope for was to get a manual labor job, and if lucky, to work in a local mill.
I have been working steadily since with only two summers off. Both times I left the country to get those breaks, and I am grateful and enriched for my adventures in foreign lands.
I did not give up my dream of getting my education and kept chipping away credit by credit, and class by class, to earn a college education. I received an Associates of Applied Sciences in photography, from Seattle Central Community College in 1994 and my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Craft, from Oregon College of Art and Craft this May 2013. I have won various awards including the OakKnoll winery wine label competition and the Brannon-Boekleheide award for the most outstanding graduating thesis student Oregon College of Art and Craft.
I was told by one of the members in my thesis committee that my thesis paper was the best paper they had read in the last 17 years, touching for me to hear, since I was told I could never write. I plan to get my Masters of Fine Art degree in the very near future and who knows, maybe my Doctorate. And to those who said I couldn't, and wouldn't and didn't believe I was worth it: I could do it, I did do it, I am worth it. And to those that did believe in me, and helped me do it, thank you. And you know what?
It's nice to have something to brag about.