Eva Colliou
Graduate of Karen’s program

Before I started Karen’s program, school was so painful.  It was obvious to everyone that I couldn’t read, because whenever it was my turn to read in class,  I couldn’t do it. I felt so judged. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I read like everyone else?

When it came time to do homework, I often cried because it was so hard. It was like a nightly breakdown.

Then I learned that I have dyslexia, and that’s when I met Karen.

On the day that we first met, I stood outside Karen’s front door and looked at a big sign with lots of words on it, hanging on her porch. I asked my mom to read it to me, because I couldn’t read it myself. It said things like, “Be kind and generous” and “It’s never too late.”  Those words were too hard for me to read when I first started Karen’s program.

It was easy to talk to Karen and we became good friends. I felt safe with her, and I knew I didn’t have to hide or pretend. Over the years that we worked together, Karen came to know me well and helped me through many difficult times.  

I worked hard in Karen’s program, and I gradually learned to read. Now, I can even read aloud in class! When the teacher asks, “Can anyone read this for us?” I actually volunteer as a challenge for myself. I try to read with expression so it sounds interesting. I would NEVER have been able to do that before.

At the end of Karen’s program, I told her, “You know that sign on the patio? When I came to you, my mom had to read it to me. But now I can read it for myself.”

Then I stood up and read that sign out loud in front of Karen and my mom. All three of us cried our hearts out together. It was such a special moment! This program has changed my life.

Of course, that doesn’t mean my life is perfect now. Having dyslexia affects my life in so many challenging ways. I have to work harder than most other people at school, which is a struggle. I am still learning to navigate the challenges of homework and discovering how to be my best self, as a person with dyslexia. I know that being dyslexic has given me a unique perspective on life, and I know now that I can be successful. 


Karen Isaacson © 2020