This is the second in a series of character sketches submitted by Regis University students as part of their community study/volunteer program. – Visit our new Regis University page where we will be collecting the entire set of papers submitted by students.
A CEO Character Sketch
by Taylor Clapp – Regis University
John’s Story – Meeting The Challenges
This was a man who I have met very recently. For the sake of his confidentiality I will call him John. John and I met for this first time last Tuesday and I spent the whole hour working on him with Basic English. For the first time at CEO, I got an inside glimpse of the people who go there. Alan left school shortly before he was supposed to go to high school because his dad died. He had to work to support the family, especially his mother. He eventually became a skilled car detailer, a job that he still has to this day. He told me that he was close to getting his GED but for reasons unknown, he was incarcerated. While he was in jail he was beat up for trying to help another person. Because of this, he has double vision that plagues this. He told me that he loves to read, and he has been reading the Bible every single morning. He asked me what my favorite books of the Bible were and where I was going to school and what I was studying, all while we were supposed to be working on English.
While working through these challenges, I saw in John the many things that characterize the people at CEO. He was a blue-collar guy, grungy, salty, but had a real desire and thirst to learn. He also carried with him a lot of baggage, both mental and physical. Because he had double vision, he has trouble concentrating. He spent most of our time together with an “eye patch” that was a note card folded over so he could actually read the questions and the answers. He is frustrated that he has all these meetings to go to, he has all these classes that he needs to go, and he has to work. He sees the enormity of the demands that are set before him, and feels daunted.
Despite all of these challenges, John still preservers, and he is intelligent too. One of the things that we, sometimes I, tend to separate ourselves from the clients at CEO based on the fact of our educational background. I don’t think that they are unintelligent but I sometimes fall into a trap of “I know this because I am in college and you don’t because x, y, and z”. John was able to answer every question without fault. He may not be educated, but he still has his wits about him.