Give Now

Don't Be Discouraged

As we work with our wonderful students each day at The Piedmont School and John Yowell Academy, we are constantly amazed at their attitude, dedication, and resilience. Academic achievements are often painstakingly difficult for our students, and even though they are highly intelligent, their attention difficulties and learning differences often hamper their success at school. Helping our students achieve success in their classrooms while realizing for the first time in their lives that there is little in life they can’t accomplish is beyond gratifying. That all being said, there are still times when our students feel alone, discouraged, and no matter how many times we enlighten them to the fact that there are highly successful individuals who face the same struggles they do, they have a hard time seeing it. I got to thinking that many of my readers may also not be aware of the number of high profile individuals who have struggled with issues similar to those faced by our students each day, so I did a little research and thought I would share a few.

• The United States Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles won the all-around Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She also went public at that time to let the world know that she struggled with ADHD, and had since she was very young. She tweeted that “Having ADHD and taking medication for it is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be afraid to let people know”.

• United States swimmer Michael Phelps has won more Gold Medals than any individual in Olympic history. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 9. When he didn’t want to read as a child his mom gave him the sports page from the newspaper, something she knew would interest him. She also at that time encouraged him to take up swimming to help his concentration and self-discipline.

• Highly acclaimed singer and actor Justin Timberlake has spoken often about his struggles with ADHD and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He says it is a mixture that has been difficult to live with, but it certainly has not hampered his success!

• Actor Channing Tatum has boldly shared his story in the past as he has struggled with both ADHD and Dyslexia. He said that in school he was often placed in classes with students with physical limitations and much more severe cognitive problems than he had. Then he would be moved to a more traditional classroom and he realized he did not fit there either. He would say, “ Ok, I obviously do not fit in either of these environments, so where do I fit?” He clearly found his way and didn’t let being different stop him.

This is where many of our students find themselves, knowing they are smart, knowing they have potential, but not knowing where they fit. At The Piedmont School and John Yowell Academy we teach these amazing students how to learn, we show them how to be successful, and we build in them the confidence they need to achieve the goals they set for themselves. For more information about The Piedmont School and John Yowell Academy, you can reach out to me at (336) 883-0992 or email me at tmontgomery@thepied-