The Llorente family of Colorado has a unique three-way connection to RFB&D: Daughter Stephanie is a student member with dyslexia; son Ryley is enjoying new experiences as a studio volunteer; and mom Therese is a regional board member. Here are the siblings' stories, in their own words.
Stephanie is in seventh grade at All Souls Catholic School.
Hello, my name is Stephanie.
In fourth grade I was struggling with my reading comprehension and did not do well in school. My reading test scores were low and I didn’t understand anything I was reading. Homework did not come easy and tests were not my strong point. I read words just to read words; I had no idea what I was reading.
I was tested and found to be an auditory learner. My mom's friend recommended RFB&D. I became a member and my parents bought the Victor Wave. Using this device changed my whole life. I would listen to my reading assignments and could understand. My grades changed and I was actually learning. I felt more confident that I could.
My new found confidence was experienced in my sports as well. I am a freestyle skier for Winter Park. And in a short amount of time I rose to top ranks of Colorado freestyle skiing.
Listening to my textbooks makes me more focused.
I recently had to do summer reading for school. The book was called “And Then There Were None,” by Agatha Christie. I ordered the book online, downloaded the audio version through RFB&D and followed the book while listening. I completed the four pages of questions correctly. But more importantly, I remember every part of that book and I loved it. I am going to check out more of Agatha Christie’s books.
Listening to my textbooks makes me more focused and I understand the subjects that my teachers are teaching. I use a Victor Wave and an MP3 player to listen to my textbooks and required reading for the year from RFB&D. They are the tools that are helping me succeed. Thank you so much.
Stephanie's brother Ryley is a freshman at Regis High School, and has five months of service as an RFB&D studio volunteer. In the photo below, he is flanked by Madeleine O'Brien (52 years of service), and Debbie Weiner (42 years of service).
No matter how busy they were, they continued to give to the faceless person who needs to learn in a different way.
Hello, my name is Ryley. I have been lucky to have school work come pretty easy to me. I never thought about how blessed I was until my sister Stephanie started having quite the opposite experience.
Stephanie would be up very late every night studying and studying, but the test scores did not reflect the hours she had put in. Stephanie was tested and it was clear that she was smart but learned in a different way.
That is when RFB&D entered our family. She started listening to her books and she finally started to comprehend and understand her work. She could remember details in books that I would not or could not remember. All of a sudden Stephanie’s grades started soaring.
This summer my parents and I discussed how I would complete the required service hours for school. In the past, I had always completed these hours shoveling snow, cleaning yoga mats or anything that I didn’t get paid for and was outside of my own family chores but I always felt that there was no purpose and I was just going through the motions. My parent’s advice was “Don’t wait till the last minute,” and “Make it meaningful.” I started to think of ideas and I thought about Stephanie and RFB&D and how RFB&D had been responsible for huge changes in my sister's life.
After an orientation, I found that the job of editor suited me best. Each week I edit listening material on a variety of different subjects. I didn’t realize I was going to learn so much. Break time with the other volunteers is great. Not only because of the yummy day-old Starbucks snacks but also because of the new friendship I have developed.
I am the youngest in my group. All of the volunteers I am surrounded by are very intelligent, creative, and giving individuals. They all have years and years of experience of volunteering at RFB&D and warmly welcomed me into the group. I saw how that no matter how busy they were, they continued to give to the faceless person who needs to learn in a different way.
So as you may have already guessed, the MEANINGFUL part of the volunteer experience is not what I am giving but all the wonderful experience I have received.