By Mary Kenney
If the only thing constant is change, Jaclyn Tumberger is one of the most consistent people you’ll meet. Jaclyn, who was recently promoted to executive assistant, spoke to Guerrero Howe staff about the power of adapting to change. Our leadership team selected her to speak for our third Lunch and Learn, a program in our company culture series.
Several attendees were eager to hear Jaclyn speak about overcoming her learning disability, or LD. One said she expected Jaclyn to say that she’d completely conquered her LD. Instead, Jaclyn explained that there are hurdles she must clear every day—and she does it. She told us how, giving us lessons we can all take back to the challenges we face.
Here are three takeaways from Jaclyn’s talk:
1. A hurdle isn’t a dead end.
Jaclyn knew she wanted to play soccer in college. She had the athletic chops and the grades, but one thing stood between her and admission: the ACT. She took a practice test, and then she took the full exam multiple times. It would have been easy to throw up her hands and decide she wasn’t cut out for college. Instead, she worked with a tutor and applied for accommodations. Her score improved markedly, and she made it into the world of studies and collegiate sports.
University proved another challenge. Her program was one of the most competitive in the country, so she worked hard and seized opportunities offered by her professors. She graduated after four years of maintaining a GPA that allowed her to keep playing soccer.
2. You’re not alone.
Jaclyn’s accomplishments are impressive, and she’s the first to point out that she didn’t reach them alone. Her parents encouraged and bolstered her when she felt defeated, and teachers worked with her throughout her education to make sure she was learning in ways that worked for her.
3. Confidence starts with you.
“Someone once told me that being able to learn is like driving up a steep hill,” Jaclyn said. “Individuals with learning disabilities seem to get stuck by roadblocks when working their way to the top.
People with learning disabilities, she went on, aren’t slow. They aren’t stupid. They simply process information in a different way.
Jaclyn is proud of who she is and the challenges she’s overcome, and that confidence has helped her as she launched her career and grew in her roles at Guerrero Howe. Now a young professional in Chicago, Jaclyn can say with ease, “I am pretty far up the hill, but I am not at the top. But looking back at the entire journey has allowed me to appreciate myself for who I am today.”
Jaclyn Tumberger, Guerrero Howe’s executive assistant, speaks to the staff about overcoming her learning disability to finish high school, graduate from college, and complete her training at GH.