This I Believe

Jason - Miramar, Florida
Entered on March 16, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Life to me appears as a long obstacle course, a course filled with events that ultimately define who you are and who you will become. The decisions you make at each obstacle will have positive or negative effects for the rest of your life.

When I was in first grade, I struggled with basic English skills. I did not have the opportunity to attend pre-school so I was very behind in my reading in my class. My teacher made informed my father of my poor skills. After realizing my struggles at school, my father and I decided to improve my English.

Everyday, from there on forward, we would practice reading my spelling words. We made flash cards and spent the whole week practicing. I would first try to learn these words and then we would place the words in an order to form sentences that I found amusing. This made it fun so I had a real interest to do it. After practicing for many weeks, I started to learn to read at a quicker pace. I also would read from a book with my Dad every night before going to sleep.

We continued the same approach during my second grade and I continued to improve. That year I took my first standardized testing and scored in the 20 percentile in reading. We continued to work hard in the third grade and my testing score improved to the 50 percentile. In the fourth grade, I improved to the 80 percentile and by the fifth grade, I was the top of my class.

Though I was too young to understand the significance of this period, the path that I took helped me become the person I am today. This experience has allowed me to become a person who perseveres and overcomes adversity. When I face adversity today or in the future, I know that if I continue to push forward with the help of family and friends, I can overcome any obstacle. In this I fully believe.