Keep On Keeping On, You Fantastic People

In November, I asked this community to share stories and inspirational messages that give you that second, third or fourth wind that keeps you motivated.   And boy, did you respond!

Not only did you provide moving stories and stirring messages, you shared why these words were motivational to you.  And that, dear colleagues, was the most inspirational aspect of this exercise.

I hope you enjoy these submissions and use them to energize and galvanize you during the busy holiday season.

Happy Holidays!


“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer

Tony Schweiter writes, "Not exactly motivational but it helps me not get discouraged too much when things seem kablooie."

“Wherever you go, there you are.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn.

It helps remind me to stay in the present moment, says Josh McManness

Alice Yoder explains, "I am always aware that no matter how many times things seem tough personal or professional, my life is a piece of cake compared to others. I also like the Community Volunteers in Medicine Vision Statement:" 

May we have eyes to see those who are rendered invisible and excluded;

Open arms and hearts to reach out and include them;

Healing hands to touch their lives with love;

And in the process heal ourselves.

I am blessed to volunteer with The Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster.  My inspiration comes from the students we serve. One of the BEST speeches I have EVER heard was given by a 6th grade student we had helped. Here it is in it’s entirety: “I used to be called stupid and slow, now I’m on the honor roll. Thank you very much.”  I try to keep that (and the thought that ‘good beginnings never end’) ever before me. Our students are inspiring! - Joy Linton

Here's a powerful that motivates and inspires Bobbi Anne DeLeo:

(Originally submitted by Catherine Cunningham in April 2017)

Currently my life is simple. I work an average minimum wage job.  I always try my best at whatever I put my mind to.  Now I am working hard to reach my goal of becoming a dental assistant.  In two years from now I hope to use my new career to participate in missions trips and travel to countries where families cannot afford proper dental care. 

If it wasn’t for the Literacy Council my tutor, I would still be nowhere close to getting my GED.  I have enrolled at YTI and will start classes in July.  I look forward to the wonderful opportunities I now have because of the Literacy Council.

(Follow-up with Catherine since getting her diploma – submitted  September 2017)

Throughout my childhood I struggled with learning. I went to kindergarten in a private school and that year I failed.  The school told my parents I would never learn to read. My parents were determined to help me learn and they always gave me the best opportunity they could afford. They ended up removing me from the school and my mother devoted all her time to homeschooling me.

My parents took me to multiple doctors until I was finally diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia.  They always wanted the best for me, so when I was 7, my mother found this one education center that helped me learn to read and pronounce words. Within 6 months, I had jumped from a 1st-grade reading level all the way to 9th-grade! Reading became my favorite subject after that.

I never really struggled with History or Science because those subjects fascinated me as a child but when It came to math I would get so frustrated with it because I could not understand it. I pretty much struggled with math until I dropped out of high school/homeschooling in the 10th-grade due to a curriculum wanting me to repeat two full years of high school all over again.

For a year or so I basically worked, moved to Buffalo, NY for a couple months. I then decided to return home to achieve my GED.  I asked around at some colleges and they informed me that the York Literacy council existed and that the organization could help me get my GED and even offered tutoring. I didn't waste much time getting in contact with the council and before I knew it I was in there getting evaluated. My assumptions were correct when they informed me I could pass the English, Social Studies and Science on the first try. But mathematics was still my worst subject at the time so the council got me a private tutor to help me with my mathematics.

My tutors name was Alexis. She was a very kind and wonderful woman. She worked with me twice a week for what I think was 9 months. She had the patience to teach me even when I got frustrated and wasn't able to fully comprehend the math. By the end of her tutoring, I not only received a GED but I also obtained a lifelong friendship.

Within a couple months of having my GED, I signed up for the YTI Career Institute dental assisting program. I am currently two months down on a nine-month program. I'm currently averaging a "B" for most of my classes. I love what the field has to offer.  The hands-on work is perfect for me.

There are so many different jobs I could have from general practice to teaching and everything in between.  I forever will be appreciative of the opportunity that the York Literacy Council has provided me, and the support Alexis gave me.

Susan Schaffer writes: "I have a passion to educate the community without disabilities and empower individuals with disabilities. I have done this on and off here and there for a long time. I still keep at it for the following reason. There will come a time when I will meet the right person who will have that connection to the people who need my help and will share my knowledge with others. It is my passion and I do not have it in me to give up on the plan / dream."