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Eva Colliou.jpeg

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 and so stupid.  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. I had so many breakdowns.

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

On the day we first met, I stood outside Karen’s front door. I looked at a big sign hanging on her porch and asked my mom to read it to me because, at the time, I couldn’t read it myself. It said things like, “Be kind and generous” and “It’s never too late.” 

Karen and I clicked right away. It was so easy to talk to her, and and it was clear that she understood me. Over time, as she tutored me, we became good friends. I felt safe with her, and I knew I didn’t have to hide or pretend. Karen came to know me well and has helped me through many difficult times.  

Karen is the most fun and creative teacher I’ve ever had. Her materials are so cute and colorful. I am a visual and interactive learner, and she made these super creative visual aid cards that actually made learning fun.

I worked hard in Karen’s program. At times, it was really difficult for me, especially as the material became more challenging. But I stuck with it, and gradually I learned to read.  

Now, I can even read aloud in class! When the teacher asks, “Can anyone read this for us?” I actually volunteer, just to challenge myself. I read a little bit slowly so that I can read with expression and make it sound interesting. I would never have been able to do that before, without Karen’s help.

At the end of Karen’s program, I told her, “You know that sign on your patio? When I first came to you, I couldn’t read it. My mom had to read it to me. 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 because it was such a special moment!

Of course, that doesn’t mean my life is perfect now. I still have dyslexia and I still struggle with it. Having dyslexia affects my life in so many different and 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.

But I know that being dyslexic has given me a unique perspective on life, and I know now that I can be successful.  In my journey, I am the most grateful for working with and knowing Karen.  Not only can I read...but I can write, more than I ever dreamed possible. I wouldn’t be where I am now without Karen. Her program changed my life.

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