Ryan’s testimonial touches a very personal chord because his story of problems and recovery parallels my story 50 years later. During these years, I met many, many teenagers like Ryan and my experience helped me to know who they really were behind the difficulties they presented in order to guide them to find themselves. Since the end of his program, Ryan has been an inspiration for other children who need a young mentor to show them the way. Here is another parallel between Ryan’s story and mine – except that I’m no longer young!
Testimonial written by Ryan Woolston
My name is Ryan and I am 17 years old. About 2 years ago I participated in the Listening Centre’s program and let me say it was the best decision I have ever made.
When I was about 11 years old I was diagnosed with a learning disability that affected my communication. My spelling, reading and writing was greatly affected. I was at the bottom of my class when it came to academic performance and I didn’t know what to do to improve. I was trying multiple things. I was going to tutoring, putting in a lot of extra hours into studying and constantly doing spelling exercises, but nothing was working. Half way through grade nine my Mom found the Listening Centre and we decided to give it a try.
My first time going to the Listening Centre was amazing. It felt very welcoming and had a sense of home, love and kindness. It wasn’t just a place that was going to help me, it was a place I wanted to come to. After 2 of the 3 separate sessions I was noticing an incredible difference in my spelling, reading and writing. It felt amazing and it all went up hill from there.
When I finished all 3 sessions my academic performance had improved significantly. I was and still am doing well in school. Before the listening center program my attitude towards school was bad and so was my self-confidence. After the program, I was a changed person. My attitude towards school was better, I was confident in my abilities and was proud of myself and what I could now do. All this was thanks to the amazing people at the listening center and how they helped me succeed.