P’TACH GRADUATES RETURN TO GIVE SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO CURRENT STUDENTS
Nothing can brighten the outlook for the future for learning disabled students like meeting those who have been through the program and have established their careers and families with wonderful success.
That is why, one of the high points of our school year is the invitation of several of our graduates to speak to our students and serve as “role models”. These visits encourage our present students to deal with their disabilities in a productive manner and not allow themselves to be held back because of them. Our students saw firsthand from our graduates that nothing need hold them back from a bright, productive future.
One of our first “heroes” who visited our girls elementary school program in Bais Yakov D’rav Meir insisted that “I’m a P’TACH girl just like you”. This created a warm and trusting environment and a healthy and supportive discussion ensued. She talked about the difficulties she had encountered and because of the help she received from P’TACH, now she feels successful, popular and emotionally healthy. This hero is an optician who owns her own store. She is also married with one child.
As part of making Project Heroes a total learning experience, the girls who met with this “hero” sent her thank you notes for her visit. Here are some excerpts of the girls’ notes: “…Before you came here I felt very low. I never thought I would make it to high school. But you made a lot of good points… I really liked your speech. It was very interesting. I especially liked your example with the red light. Now I know that everybody can learn the same things; it just may take some of us longer to get there… The point that you impressed upon me was that I could do it, too. You had a hard time in school, but so what! Look at you now, you have a business of your own. You tried and tried until you succeeded. You didn’t give up. That’s something I have to remember. Thanks again for coming”
Another “hero” was a young man who spoke to our boys elementary students in Chaim Berlin. He related his story of difficulty in school and how with P’TACH’s help, his hard work and positive attitude, he has reached where he is today. He is learning in Kollel where he has earned the respect and admiration of his peers. He is married and has a beautiful child. The boys marvelled at his poise and self-confidence. His words of “Chizuk” left a most positive impression that was talked about for the remainder of the school year.