Taking the Leap: Raffaella's Story
Raffaella was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade, and as her parents began researching specialized schools, they found Swift School, a small school just off GA-400 in Roswell, Ga.
Swift School’s mission is to prepare students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences to be successful in life. After her diagnosis, Raffaella shadowed a Swift student and “wanted to start the very next day.”
As a fourth grader, her wish came true. She enrolled at Swift and received remediation through eighth grade. Asked four years later to describe her Swift School experience using one word, she said it was “inspiring.”
Continued Raffaella: “I saw an immediate transformation. My confidence increased. [My parents and] I knew I needed extra help. I struggled with my self-esteem and confidence, but the moment I started at Swift School, I started laughing more, gained confidence, went out of my turtle shell and made friends. I allowed myself to be happy.”
Raffaella also noticed herself excited for the school day and enjoying the activities her teachers planned on a day-to-day basis. Walk the halls of Swift School, and you will see that same joy on the faces of current students.
It’s no surprise that numerous teachers, including Mr. Lytle and Mrs. Lane, impacted Raffaella.
Raffaella is a freshman at Suffolk University in Massachusetts where is majoring in broadcast journalism.
“Mrs. Lane inspired me to become a communications major,” Raffaella stated. “I went above and beyond for her class. We had to do a survey, and I surveyed fourth through eighth graders about their use of technology and how they feel and act after being on it for numerous hours. I was on the broadcast team for two years and did it in high school. Mrs. Lane helped me become a better writer and communicator, and she was incredibly patient with me.”
What differentiates Swift School from other areas independent specialized schools is Swift’s Orton-Gillingham trained and certified faculty. Raffaella received instruction using the approach and often refers back to it years later.
“The OG Approach helped me learn and understand things I struggled with,” she recalled. “I still use it in certain areas like counting out syllables and sounding out words. It’s ingrained in me now, and I do not even realize I am using it.”
Raffaella traveled more than 17 hours and 1,100 miles from home to further her education at Suffolk University, has lofty goals for the future.
“Five years down the road, I envision myself doing multiple things,” noted the stellar student and Swift School graduate. “I want to be on the radio. I want to be an outlet for people and help make a difference in the world. I could see myself as a press secretary. I want to be there for people who need help and access and do what I can to help people have a voice.”
Wise beyond her years, Raffaella has two messages – one for parents considering sending their students to Swift School – and one for Swift’s current students.
“I would tell the parents to take the leap. "Come to Swift and see the changes in your child. I always recommend Swift; I even recommended it to my neighbor down the street. It can be tough to change schools, but Swift is always the right choice. Swift will do wonders for you; it helped me in many ways.”
As for the students at Swift, her message is simple: Take a deep breath.
“It will work out,” said a smiling Raffaella. “You will find your friends, your niche, and an activity you want to do. The teachers care about you. The whole school cares. It is a wonderful place.”
Ready for your child to experience the school Raffaella called home for five school years? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or click the link below.