Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico
Grace Campbell (Age 16: Las Cruces, NM)
Grace Campbell is an entrepreneur, artist, creativity extraordinaire, and dyslexia warrior.
She has worked hard to learn compensation techniques as she navigates life with
dyslexia. Although reading and writing do not come easily, she excels at problem
solving techniques, thinking outside the box, work ethic, and being a person of
integrity. During her three years of therapy at the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New
Mexico, Grace learned that many strengths come with dyslexia, and she seeks daily to
capitalize on those areas, while simultaneously working to improve her reading and
writing skills. She is a Taekwando Green Belt, owner of her own Etsy business, and
presented a bill at her State Capitol on behalf of students with dyslexia.
Grace loves to draw, paint, crochet, knit, bake, and care for animals. She finds joy in
encouraging and inspiring others who struggle in any way, realizing that her own
journey has a purpose outside of herself.
Benjamin Boldt, grandson of DISNM board member Fran Boldt, graduated with honors from Arrowhead Park Early College High School this spring.
It’s hard to imagine this bright student struggled to read the first years of elementary school. Fran, his grandmother said she knew something was wrong because Benjamin’s father was reading before he went to kindergarten. Benjamin’s third grade teacher suggested he be tested for dyslexia. The Las Cruces School System did not want to have him tested because “he was not that far behind”. It was obvious money was the issue, as LCPS finally agreed to accept the results of the test if his parents paid for the test from a certified examiner. Benjamin tested as having dyslexia with a high IQ. Benjamin’s parents paid for dyslexia tutors, until he was accepted into the “Take Flight” three year Dyslexia program sponsored by the Scottish Rite. With some further therapy at DISNM, by seventh grade, Benjamin was making straight A’s in school, which continued through grade twelve.
Benjamin worked very hard to achieve the distinction of being second in his graduating class. It was possible because he received special dyslexia training early in his schooling.
Mordecai R received the honor of being a third place winner in the 2019 Las Cruces Optimist Club essay contest. The essay topic this year was, "When all the World's Problems are Solved, is Optimism still Necessary?" Mordecai received a medal, a certificate, and $25. Way to go, Mordecai! The award is being presented by Warren Noland.
"Just a year ago the only books my son was reading were Elephant and Piggy books. He was seven at the time and reading and writing were always a struggle. We'd do spelling and he'd do great, but then forget it all the next day. I tried various reading programs but nothing seemed to click. And then we discovered the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico. We would never have been able to afford a private tutor because my husband is in school full time, but thanks to a grant that the Dyslexia Institute had received, we received the help my son needed. I think my son was a little nervous at first, but he quickly realized how much the program was helping him. It is an intense hour that he attends 3-4 times a week, but his reading and writing ability has skyrocketed, his confidence has increased, and he now enjoys reading. He still has another year left in the program, and I can't wait to see the things he will accomplish by the time he finishes."
From Heather, the mother of a current student
"I didn't know places like the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico existed, but, thankfully a friend took a picture of an ad for the institute and texted it to me. I don't know what we would have done without it. Everyone has been so kind and supportive and my son loves the program and is so proud of the progress he has made. My son is about half-way through the program, but loves telling me about the different rules he has learned in class. He says he wants to teach them to my husband one day, because my husband never learned the rules when he was a kid (and is dyslexic). The program challenges my son, but it has made such a difference in his reading/writing ability and in his confidence. I am also grateful to those who have donated to the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico to help make scholarships available for those who need it. It is a wonderful program and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels they might have dyslexia"
From H.E., the mother of one of our current students
May 28, 2018
Graduates of the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico.
Both are good readers now.
Left: Grace Campbell
Middle: Executive DISNM Director Ellen Saige
Right: Lane Houser
Victor Garcia, a Mayor's Top Teen in 2015-2016, graduating from Las Cruces High School.
Victor has volunteered at his church, participating in cleanup projects and helping with food drives. He has been heavily involved in caring for his younger brother and has provided a father figure for these young siblings at an age when many teens are thinking of hanging out and having fun.
Victor is severely dyslexic and faced with the issues of bilingualism. He entered middle school as a non-reader and then participated in a step-by-step methodical phonics and reading program. He diligently completed each lesson in the Scottish Rite Adult Literacy program administered through the Dyslexia Institute of Southern New Mexico, mastering each concept as he came to it. He had almost perfect attendance for the three years and four months that it took for him to complete the program.
Victor's accomplishments include learning to read when he was in middle school until he was able to enter high school in regular classes. He has a real strength in math and exceptional talent in art and woodworking. Victor planned to graduate and take classes at Dona Ana Community College to further his skills in computer-assisted drafting, building and architecture to help him fulfill his ambitions to become an architect.
Oksana Martinez, a Mayor's Top Teen 2013 with Ellen Saige, DISNM Executive Director and Therapist.
Oksana participated in numerous service projects for her school, her church and her community.
Oksana was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age after her teachers saw that she had difficulties in reading, listening and learning. She has put extraordinary effort into her academic work. Oksana spent hours each week with a Dyslexia Therapist in order to learn the strategies she needs to succeed in spite of her disability. When she meets students with dyslexia, she encourages them with her "can-do" attitude and mentors them by sharing organization and study strategies.