Justina Person, a mother of two from Little Canada, suffered for years in the Minnesota public school system until a teacher recognized her dyslexia when she was a junior in high school. Justina credits that teacher for having turned her world around – because of one great teacher’s involvement, she was able to go to college.
Now as a mother, Justina finds herself watching her son face the same struggles – waiting for a teacher to come along like the one who inspired her. In 5th grade, Justina’s son was having so much difficultly understanding a teacher’s lectures that he came up with reasons to leave the classroom every day. His teacher allowed this to happen, standing by for months, instead of working with Justina and her son to find a solution.
Justina was shocked to learn that her son was assigned to the same teacher the following school year. When she voiced her concerns, Justina was told that the school wouldn’t and couldn’t make a change. Feeling dejected and powerless, Justina transferred her son to a school in a different district where teachers have made it a priority to keep him engaged and make sure he is learning. Justina’s son now remains in class, excelling in areas where he struggled before. Since beginning at his new school, he has consistently made the honor roll.
Justina Person hopes that her children will have the opportunity to grow up to be whatever they want to be and never feel limited because they didn’t have access to the education they deserved. Her dream is that they will graduate high school and enter college ready and prepared for the journey ahead.