Jonas completed High School with high honors, and graduated from Indiana University all because of the help of Hyde Park Day School.
My name is Jonas W. I attended the Hyde Park Day School from the summer before 4th grade in 2002 until 6th grade in 2005. You may be asking yourselves, “What can a school even do for a kid in that short of a time?” …especially one who has severe ADHD, Dyslexia, Anxiety, and OCD or as I like to call it, my holy Quartet. Well, let me just tell you, it did everything and then some. Ever since kindergarten, I always felt different from everyone else when it came to school. I always found myself extremely discouraged and frustrated when it came to school work. My therapist suggested we look into a new school that was just for kids with LD. I was immediately against it, going to another school where I knew no one and the thought of leaving all my friends, or lack thereof, sounded like the end of the world. However, after countless fights and perhaps some bribery, I agreed to give it a try for summer school.
“From the moment I stepped in the door on my first day, a sense of ease I had never felt before came over me.”
I remember my first day like it was yesterday. From the moment I stepped through the door, a sense of ease came over me that I had never felt before. After I got home, I could not stop talking about how amazing it was…well there are very few times when I’m not talking…but honestly I had never been so happy at school in my life. I was finally surrounded by other kids, who were not all 10 steps ahead of me, and by teachers who were not telling me I had to catch up or get left behind. The first of many things HPDS taught me was it’s okay to need a little extra time! In fact, one of the most important skills that HPDS taught me was the importance of self-advocating. My teachers helped me to realize it’s okay to say that I needed help and you should never be afraid to ask for that help. The faculty and staff of HPDS are one of the most significant and valuable assets the school has. Each and every one of them had a hand in helping mold me into the man I am today.
When I finally transitioned back into my local school system, I was nervous I was going to miss all my new friends. Ironically, this was really the only thing I was worried about. I was not worried or scared about not being able to stay with the class, not scared to ask questions, and not even concerned about bullies. For the first time in my life, I finally felt confident that I had all the tools and skills I needed to be successful.
Today, I am proud of where I came from, where I am, and where I am going. I was able to graduate middle school with High Honors and High School on the Dean’s List and with honors. Most importantly, I was able to graduate within four years from Indiana University, majoring in Apparel Merchandising, and minoring in Business, Fashion Design, and Informatics. Currently, I am the Assistant Buyer for watches at Sears Holding.
I am where I am today because of HPDS, and I am completely confident almost nothing I just said would have happened without it. Words cannot describe the gratitude I have for this school and the faculty and staff for changing my life. This quote from former president John F. Kennedy reiterates how I keep HPDS with me every day and how I show my appreciation, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”