Erin Brockovich: American environmental activist.

Born:  June 22, 1960

School is supposed to be a place for learning and making friends.  For internationally famous activist Erin Brockovich, school was a source of discouragement and humiliation.

People called me stupid — I knew that I could learn, but I just couldn’t learn the way that society wanted to teach me. There are no set answers, just be who you are.

My high school teachers would not have believed I could have read all those [legal] briefs.  Early on I was told I probably wouldn’t make it through college. I knew I wasn’t stupid, but I had great hardships in school — since second grade.

Brockovich praises one special teacher.

If it weren’t for…my high school history teacher, I would have been completely demoralized by schools.  My teacher was always puzzled by my performance. In class I always knew everything and yet I always flunked the test.

So she let Brockovich take her history exams orally.

She was invaluable in helping my self-esteem.

Today her words to anyone, whether a client or a struggling student, are simple.

Never give up hope.  When someone helping you gets frustrated, don’t let them. Take a step back, because you can’t learn anything under pressure. And don’t worry about the label!

Life is full of challenges whether you are learning disabled or not. It’s how you handle those challenges. Never be afraid to be just who you are.

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