Patty L Fletcher
Feb 27 2016
THE SEEING EYE® and SEEING EYE® are registered trademarks of The Seeing Eye, Inc.
When I was in grade school they told me I was too young to join the High-School band in my school. I was bored with the beginning band, the High School Band was more advanced, and even my teacher agreed, yet there were some who did not believe I could, or should do it.
I however persisted, and in the sixth grade was allowed to join. By the Ninth grade I was first chair flute player in my band, and my dad was buying me a silver plated flute as a present.
When I became sick, and left High-School after falling terribly behind, but was yet too young to go to work in a factory set up for the blind, I applied any way and was accepted in to their training program early, and when finished with the first three months of Job Adjustment I was told I couldn’t remain yet because I was not of legal age to hire, and that I couldn’t remain in the Job Adjustment Training program any longer, I went to the top of the chain, and instead of going home I remained.
When I left my job at that factory some years later, to strike out on my own, everyone said I would not find success. I however, did not believe, and proceeded as always before. I sought out a volunteer position at CONTACTCONCERN of Northeast Tennessee INC and obtained such. My then supervisor didn’t quite know how we would do it but he was willing to try, and so I became a volunteer.
Then I decided I wanted a job there, but everyone told me it was not doable. No way could they hire me. I proved them wrong. I began to research AmeriCorps Vista and soon I was flying off to Atlanta to take their training to become a Vista for Contact Concern.
When the funding for that fell through a year later, I was told it was highly unlikely I’d ever return.
However, after taking a bit of time to regroup, I continued to volunteer for them, and learn all I could about the position of Volunteer Coordinator even to the point of becoming a volunteer assistant to the coordinator in charge. When she died suddenly a couple of years later, they needed to look no further than my phone number for a replacement.
I worked in that position for five years.
While there I decided I wanted to go to The Seeing Eye in Morristown New Jersey and train to obtain a Guide Dog. Again I was told it was highly unlikely that it would be possible for me to do it. There were issues with my being gone for so long to train, yet I now have an awesome Guide who walks proudly beside me every day from the oldest and largest Guide Dog school in this great country of ours.
When my position at Contact Concern ended and I decided to go out on my own as a Writer, Speaker, and Nonprofit Consultant, again everyone expected I’d fail. Yet here I am just one year later with a self published book which – be it slowly is selling, and making me some money, I have my very own monthly magazine which I own and publish, and I have just taken a volunteer position at the Northeast Tennessee disABILITY Resource Center in Johnson City Tennessee as a ‘Nonprofit Consultant’
No I won’t make any money, but I started at Contact Concern the same way, and this job will also allow me to do my work as a Writer and Speaker while assisting them, and my needs will be met.
So when people tell you that you can’t, there’s no chance in the world of it ever happening, and that you should just be satisfied with what you have, tell them to take a flying leap. You don’t even have to say it, just get off your ass and make whatever it is you want to happen happen.
Until next time this is Patty, Campbell, and Bob Cat too, saying, don’t let the nay Sayers get to you!