Written by Bridget Steele, Manager of Research and Grants

High school sophomore and former CDC student Sam Caliri
High school sophomore and former CDC student Sam Caliri

Last fall, high school sophomore Sam Caliri was assigned a service project at school that involved giving back to the community. While brainstorming ideas, his mind went to the Children’s Dyslexia Center he had attended a few years ago.

“I realized how much they helped me growing up and how much going to the Center impacted my life in a positive way, and I wanted to do something for them,” he said.

Sam and his mother Cindy reached out to the Center he had attended in Nashua, New Hampshire to see how they could help. They learned that the program needed individualized materials so they could continue providing services for students during the pandemic.

When Sam heard this, he made it his mission to raise as much as he could. He wrote a letter sharing how the Dyslexia Center had helped him and began reaching out to local businesses for support. “One in five people suffer from dyslexia. I am Sam Caliri, and I am one of the one in five,” his letter began.

With COVID closures hampering some of his efforts, he and his family turned to social media to share his letter. The response was overwhelming.

“People in the community were probably our biggest supporters – people who knew Sam and knew about his reading difficulties,” his mother said.

Sam’s work raised $2,000 for the Nashua Center. When he paid a visit to the Center to present staff with the funds he had raised, Center Director Aileen Cormier said she was incredibly impressed.

CDC Graduate Sam Carili with Nashua CDC Director Aileen Cormier
CDC Graduate Sam Carili with Nashua CDC Director Aileen Cormier

“Not only did he raise money for our Center and for a very worthy cause, but he went a step further to help increase awareness about a disability that I think so many people misunderstand,” she said.

Sam said his life has changed a great deal since going to the Center. Besides being more confident in his reading, he received all A’s this past semester and is even taking honors classes. When it came time to present his project at school, Sam said his teacher was blown away by his work: “He thought I did one of the most impactful sophomore projects he’s seen.”

This June, we're celebrating the amazing work of the tutors and students at our Children's Dyslexia Centers (CDC) through our Kid Like Me fundraiser!

If you enjoyed the story above, please consider making a gift at CDCInc.org/AKidLikeMe to help us continue to support students like Sam.