Since I was in pre-K up until now, I've been to quite a number of schools. Not because I was necessarily unhappy or wanted to change, but because I was thrown out of each one.
I never misbehaved or bothered anyone in class. I just couldn't keep up no matter how hard I tried. I sat for hours with tutors. I spent my summer vacations until the fourth grade learning to read and write properly. I was pulled from class for extra help. I felt humiliated, shamed and dejected every single day.
When I started in high school this year, in the only school that agreed to take me in, I doubled my efforts again. I tried. I studied hard. But by the time Sukkos came around, my principal informed me it was time for me to move on once again. She was "nice enough" not to dump me and allow me to stay until I had something else. But of course, that never happened and I ended up finishing the year in the school I knew didn't want me around for the crime of being dumb, amongst classmates that knew how stupid I was. It was torture, but i stuck through it.
This summer, while my classmates enjoyed each other's company in camp, I preferred to stay home and work as a counselor. I loved my job. Every day I got up and knew I was making a difference in my campers lives the way I wished my teachers would have bothered to do with me. I loved them and I knew they loved me back. I knew my presence was appreciated. I know that most of my classmates would not have been able to do what I was able to with my campers and I felt good.
By second half, I made up my mind I won't go through another school year again. I knew that realistically I am not cut out for school, and can't pretend I am anymore.
Last week, after much searching and begging for an interview at different schools , an idea of a non-Jewish school came up. It promised to accommodate to all my learning needs. I hated that it got to a situation like this – that I was only being accepted by people who weren't our own; while amongst us, there was not even a chance for an interview without some sort of grades to show for myself.
We decided to continue looking and keep the non-Jewish option as our last.
Today, I finally got onto a plane with my mother and met the most wonderful principal of a small out of town school that is catered to Frum girls just like me.
This kind principal didn't put me through a test to see how much I do NOT know. She sat with me for three hours making it her business to show me what I DO know about myself! She wanted to hear what I wanted to gain out of my next three years of high school.
We worked together and mapped out a plan of the right help I need to succeed and what I would be responsible for. We spoke not only about my educational needs, but also about my support with the right therapy that will keep me going strong.
I'm hopeful and excited again. I know this school holds potential of a bright future for me. But I also learned that getting the help I need for such an individualized school program costs the large fortune of $45,000 a year for tuition (not including room, board and plane tickets)!
Normally, I would never ask you for your help. But I'm done with shame. I want this too badly for myself to care about that. My mother, who is raising me on her own, hardly has the means for the basic necessities, let alone to come up with all that money by the first day of school.
I'm reaching out for your help and
daring to believe again and be excited for this opportunity. I want it so badly! Would you please be so kind and give whatever amount you can and help me take this chance? The money is going to the organization Paile Yoetz that is helping me in this matter.
If you are unable to give at this time, would you please pass this on to whomever you think can help?
Thank you so much for taking the time to hear my story-hopefully you'll share my dream!
- Henny Fishman
- Rose Rosenberg
- C T
- Blimi Fligman
Organizer and beneficiary
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