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I am blessed to have been born into a rural Illinois family that always emphasized lifelong learning. When I was five years old my Aunt Bernice began giving me volumes of the Golden Book Encyclopedia which she acquired with her weekly grocery purchases. I sat on her lap and she read to me until I could read myself. My father, the oldest of 8 depression era children set aside his college education to support his brothers and sisters. He taught himself plumbing, heating and elctrician skills to run his own business but read 4 daily newspapers. he taught me that learning is a daily, lifelong endeavor.

Most recently my wife Leah and I are raising 4 children including a 13 year old son, John-Carlos, with autism. He was assesesd as at a pre-kindergarten level in fourth grade until he moved to middle school and we found a teaching staff willing to learn the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) method of communication and education geared toward low or non-verbal students. Within a year he was functioning above grade level. I remain so deeply inspired to become who I am by the brave efforts of my family heroes.