63 Year Old MS Disabled Retired English Teacher Seeks Grant To Publish Her Books
by Deborah Rose Ferrraro
(Ocala, Florida, USA)
I am a 63-year-old disabled, retired college English teacher. As an adjunct professor I had no health benefits or retirement plan. I am barely surviving on social security.
I was an award-winning teacher who taught at Valencia Community College, Delaware Valley College, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.
I currently live at Magnolia Walk, a senior community. The computers here are only available for email and searches. Nothing can be saved. Often there is no paper available for the printer.
I have two young people who need my help. One needs assistance with English and study skills. She is a college student. The other person is a young man in search of a job.
In addition to English and history, I taught Career Development to college students as well Business Communication.
One of my former students designed the adult entertainment known as Pleasure Island at Disney.
I can tell you many more such success stories if you wish to read them. I'll give you more examples. I was working part-time at a craft and nursery store so I could buy craft supplies at a discount.
I was talking to the assistant manager who was a very personable man. He told me he had a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's in chemistry.
I asked him how he happened to be working in a craft store. He told me he worked for DuPont and the creation of the first machine that tested for HIV/Aids.
Once its design was complete and it was functional, he and his team were laid off. He was only making $15,000 a year at the craft store. He wife constantly taunted him because she made more than he did.
I wrote three different functional resumes for him and letters to go with him. He found an excellent job at NASA making $100,000 a year! His wife isn't laughing anymore.
I believe in success as well as a positive attitude. I am certain that more young people could use my help. A computer would certainly help in my role as teacher/mentor and consultant.
About my disability... I have MS (multiple sclerosis). I have had it all my life. Most people don't have this chronic illness until they are adults. I use a walker because the many falls I have had have ruined my back.
I used an electric wheelchair for a while, but I became too dependent on it so I stopped using it. Walking helps keep my legs strong. If I have a fall, I have enough muscle strength to get up by myself.
While I have never been a speed typist, I used to be able to type with two hands. The neuropathy in my left hand prevents me from using my left hand for typing anymore. I do fairly well with one hand.
I understand there is software available now which allows one to speak to the computer and your words are automatically typed on the screen. That would be an unexpected blessing, but I will continue to type one handed.
I have never let my disability run my life. I know I can help many people who are looking for work. I had my own business writing service for more than thirty years.
I helped many people find jobs and/or advance their careers. I still have much to offer in spite of my age, disability and limited income. All I need now is a computer. Can you help me?
BA in English and Social Studies, BA in Humanities, Philosophy and Religion, MA in Education, MA in Librarianship