pinnotes 1 / 1 Feb 20, 2010 #1Statement of Purpose"So tell me kid, how did someone like you become an air traffic controller, or for that matter an honor student? I mean, remember those giant glasses you wore? And even with them, you could still barely find your way out of a paper bag!" chuckled my Uncle Bob just before he burst out into an uncomfortable laughter that ended in hacking coughs. I had to forgive him for this uncouth question. The truth was we both knew my childhood established my title as the family underdog. And the glasses he referred to were actually prescribed to me when I was four. My impaired vision yielded delays in my reading, comprehension, and math skills. Ultimately, at the advice of my second grade teacher, I was placed in the special education program. An intellectually slow child with thick glasses was how my uncle Bob remembered me, but the bright, creative, successful woman I became to him was how I always saw myself.The stigma of being labeled as a slow learner was sometimes more than I could bear. Hours of additional tutoring and summer school exhausted me of any desire learn. I considered school and everything about it a place of misery and torture. My mother recognized signs that I was becoming depressed and withdrawn. Wisely, she made me aware of great minds like Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Charles Schwab who also struggled with learning disorders. Immediately I felt a certain kinship with them, and my fascination for the learning process was born. A conviction grew inside me to never stop improving myself so that way someday I would be able to help other struggling learners see their true potential.Unfortunately, high school began a rollercoaster of family problems. The next four years I went through the motions as a student, but I found it impossible to remain engaged in my studies. Graduation came and went and I barely noticed. The University of Wisconsin accepted me in their general studies program, and for the next two years I half heartedly attended classes. My mind still reeled from the upheaval I endured, even though it was no longer a part of my life. During all this turmoil one constant remained; my passion to become someone who can help struggling learns realize how smart they truly are.I knew if I wanted my dream to come into fruition I needed to hit the reset button my life. I decided to join the Air Force; it offered the stability and structure I so desperately needed. Rapidly my situation began to improve. After taking the vocational assessment test, I was offered an air crew position. This was a position reserved exclusively for the top two percent of the enlisted Air Force. And a few years later I was able to attend night school on top of my additional duties. During my enlistment I received several merits of honor for my actions as a soldier, while at the same time I received accolades for my outstanding academic achievements. My sense of self discipline, pride, and focus were rejuvenated. I successfully transformed into the person I had intended to become when I enlisted. Poised for success I left the air force and returned to school. The frequency of my personal and academic accomplishments assured me that I will someday achieve my ultimate goal of helping students who struggled like I did.Across the table sat my uncle Bob as he waited for me to provide an answer that would make my success (to him) less of an enigma. Then I realized on of the most important lessons I ever learned. I never intended any of my accomplishments as a way of saying, "I told you so". The strides I have made in my life have always been guided by the greater good of someday holding someone's potential up to the light so they could see it for themselves. I never did end up dignifying Uncle Bob's question with an answer. Instead I smiled and reassured him that I have come a long way, but I am not finished yet.