Valerie's Story

Giving Petals owner, Valerie, with her husband Shaun and children

– Owner, Valerie with her husband Shaun and their children

“When I started Giving Petals, I had one particular person who helped inspire me. My husband is 36, and has dyslexia. The stories he’s told about growing up in a school system that didn’t acknowledge or say the word dyslexic. There was a lack of resources and the only solution was to place him in special education. It was an uphill battle all the way through school.

Life didn’t get easier after school for him; instead, he faced new challenges. Employment was worse than what he had experienced in school. Now he was in a world where your success is measured by the career you carry. He was continuously met with barriers because of his dyslexia. When individuals don’t understand dyslexia and assume it means an individual can’t read they automatically fear giving any responsibility even if the person is capable of doing the work.

Our family began to grow and he worried how he was going to help provide for a family. In the back of his mind he was concerned he would never find a job that would make enough. He worked retail for so many years but it wasn’t enough. As soon as it seemed like nothing was going to get better we became very lucky to meet a woman who would eventually become his tutor & mentor.

As an adult he of course wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of having a tutor to help with his dyslexia. The excuse of money and time was used often. We weren’t making enough money to pay for the additional costs and were already pinching your pennies. With the help of family we were able to cover the cost for a while then we just could continue paying. It was only because of the kindness from others that he was able to complete his tutoring. His mentor offered to complete his tutoring free of charge. He was making great progress and was really showing signs of confidence when it came to both his reading and writing. He even started tutoring students of his own.

If it wasn’t for the support and kindness from family and others we wouldn’t be where we are today. This kindness is one of the reasons why I’ve started Giving Petals. I want to see both children and adults with dyslexia succeed like my husband and stand proud of who they are and what they have accomplished.

Dyslexia is not just a disability but a community. It is up to us to build each other up and bring awareness to others.”

-Valerie, Founder of Giving Petals