A Mom's Dream Come True
Hughes was ten years old when Hope began. At that time, my goals for him were simple. Learn to read – a real struggle up to this point – and mature to the best of his ability. Beyond high school, I had no idea. At that time there were no educational programs for students with learning disabilities post high school. As the years went by, intensive one-on-one instruction at HCA allowed Hughes to make significant gains in reading and other areas. Within the first two years of his HCA instruction, he gained 2 ½ years in his reading level. By the eighth grade, he could read the newspaper’s sports page (most important) and find results of all the major league baseball teams he followed.
About this same time, a program at USC called Carolina LIFE, began to take shape. Learning Is For Everyone was specifically designed for students just like Hughes. There
Hughes and fellow intern, Nico, working the USC vs. Vanderbilt football game.
was Hope! Hughes’ confidence continued to rise, his reading level steadily increased, he got his driver’s license, and he exceeded every prediction for him ten-fold.
This past May Hughes graduated from HCA with Jackson Ware, his friend since first grade. He was accepted into the Carolina LIFE program, and he is living on campus! He loves being a part of the USC family and is studying Sports Management. He recently met with his academic advisor and is enrolled in his first sports management class this spring.
“My son is a freshman at Carolina”. Those words still make me smile - truly a long and wonderful journey, made possible by the loving staff at HCA and all they poured into him.
Contributed by Stephanie Estep Cordum, a founder of Hope and Hughes’ mom.