If you’ve ever been discouraged because of a learning disability, these counselors have a message for you.
Camp Eye to Eye, run by the national organization Eye to Eye, is a week-long day camp for students with learning disabilities and/or ADHD entering 4th to 8th grade. The counselors are college and high school-aged mentors with similar learning challenges. Activities at the camp include creating motivational art projects, zip-lining, swimming and even creating their own Eye to Eye My Advocacy Plan, a tool they can use in their upcoming IEP or 504 Plan meeting. The program also holds daily hour-long seminars for parents.
“We’re creating mentor memories for a lifetime,” Fred Miggins, Eye to Eye’s director of marketing and communications, told The Mighty. “Seeing there are people in your shoes who have gone to college and have accomplished so much is so important.”
According to Miggins, Eye to Eye focuses on the social-emotional piece of living with a learning disability/ADHD — encouraging self-esteem, self-advocacy and hope. Eye to Eye has 50 mentoring chapters in 20 states, as well as diplomats who speak throughout the country.
Because we know having a learning difference/ADHD doesn’t mean you can’t succeed, The Mighty asked Camp Eye to Eye counselors what messages they want to send those with learning disabilities. Here’s what they had to say:
“You are not alone.”
“I dream big.”
“You can excel!”
“You are awesome!”
“Never give up!”
“Thinking different rules.”
“LD/ADHD – proud to be!”
“Own your label!”
“You think in amazing ways.”
“Think outside the box!”
“Thinking different is cool!”
“The struggle makes you stronger.”
“Your L.D. [learning difference] does not define you!”
Editor’s note: Fred Miggins’ position was previously stated incorrectly.