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If you do not believe you have what it takes to succeed in college, then you are like I was, and this letter is to you.

When I was a kid I kept a huge secret of the fact I could not read until, finally, I was caught by a teacher in 5th grade. I struggled through until the 7th grade when I finally broke down for not learning the way everyone else did. I believed I was stupid. I ended up staying behind and getting the help I needed to get out of 7th grade. The journey never got much easier from there. In high school, all my friends were talking about attending community college or four year colleges. I was thinking about finding a dead end job or joining the military. I was so sick to my stomach over my job prospects that I joined the military the first month of my senior year in high school.

No one in my family had ever gone to college or told me I could, so I never believed college was an option for me. Luckily, while in the military, the local community college offered classes to military personnel The lesson I learned was that there seems to always be a way. Some of us just have to work a little harder to find it!

Today, my life is great. I have a college degree. I know I am smart. I am a Vice President for a Fortune 500 Company. And, although reading is still extremely difficult for me, I rely on the knowledge that I can always find a way to learn and achieve, especially if I work a little harder than others.

It is a scientific fact that all of us have different fingerprints, so why wouldn’t it be true that our brains are all wired to learn differently? With help from our family members, teachers, friends and, most of all, ourselves, we can find the best way to learn. By identifying the best way to learn every single one of us has the chance to achieve our hopes and dreams.

You are smart. You are motivated. Congratulations on your decision to pursue your education. If I can do it, I know you can do it too!

Sincerely, [Jim Dumond's signature] Jim Dumond Vice President and Compliance Officer MGM MIRAGE