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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?

Deborah Ferraro,
BA in English and Social Studies, BA in Humanities, Philosophy and Religion, MA in Education, MA in Librarianship

Comments for 63 Year Old MS Disabled Retired English Teacher Seeks Grant To Publish Her Books

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Aug 07, 2013
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Communicate by Computer
by: Julie

There are three possibilities that crawl under the radar:

1) Check the website www.modestneeds.org/ and read some of the items they funded in the past and see who is looking for help currently.

2) Right now, Rent-A-Center is featuring back-to-school special offers. I just got a desktop unit for my sister - who also has MS as I do - and they have everything from the smallest tablet/laptop to the best-equipped desktop units.

3) I recently heard that you could submit your story to computer companies and ask if they could make a donation of both/either hardware and software based on the size of the population you are serving. Start with Hewlett-Packard and go to the Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

I wish you success and if you need to share, please get in touch with me at write2earn@aol.com.

God Bless
Julie Scott

PS: My story is here, too!

Oct 16, 2011
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Private - Local Computer Store Help
by: Anonymous

Computers are so important these days. Try these things if you haven't already:

Locate all the local computer stores around your area. Ask them if they on occasion send used computers to organizations that help organizations in need.

Often when a person or company is upgrading their computer system they will turn in or ask the company to do away with their old computer. Some local computer repair companies save some of these computers to harvest parts off of them. My company also takes all the old computers people get rid of that they don't use to a local retired guy who refurbishes them and then gives them to the various Boys and Girls Clubs to use in the computer labs.

Get a letter from your doctor verifying your condition and a statement on your income. You may want to include 2-3 letters of recommendation Develop a portfolio that is clearly written and shot to the point.

Also check with the Small Business Administration in your area and see if they can help you with a small loan. This is typical for that agency.

Also try Free Cycle (freecycle.org). This is a recycling of good but no longer needed items network in most areas of the country and world. Individuals join for free and offer what they do not need any more to others online. You can also post a need online as well. Frequently you get a response quickly. It cost nothing to join and nothing to receive items.

Until you get your own computer all libraries have full functioning computers that you can sign up for on a regular basis. You can also see about using a computer that one of the other residents have.

Best wishes to you!

Oct 03, 2011
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Publishing
by: Ken

Hello Deborah,
If you can't find a grant to do this, which I couldn't find, I did however find this site. Copy the address and paste in your browser.
http://www.publishamerica.com
These people will take a look at it and publish it, if they like it, then you would only get a small advance $50 and you would receive royalties. I would suggest if you go that route and have more books, save the royalties and use that to go directly to a publisher so you can make more money on the book.
Have a great day,
Ken

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