Dyslexic and Proud: The Success Story of a COO with Dyslexia
Jess Arce CEO of I am not dumb, Inc. Program Director of 3D Learning Experts Dyslexic Expert, Author, Speaker
Dyslexic and Proud: The Success Story of a CEO with Dyslexia
“Impossible is just an opinion.”
This quote by Paulo Coelho perfectly resonates with the life of Jess Arce, a dyslexic woman who braved the struggles brought by her learning difference and decided to live and work with it until she finally achieved success.
Jess Arce, America's Dyslexia Expert, is the Program Director of 3D Learning Experts and the CEO of I Am NOT Dumb, Inc. Jess is a self-diagnosed dyslexic person. Her mom was also dyslexic but was only officially diagnosed by Yale in the 40s. Jess was already showing signs of dyslexia at a young age but her mom knew very little about what this condition was. Fast forward to the future, Jess became a dyslexia tutor and she educated her mom, proving that despite late diagnosis, adults can still get help with their dyslexia.
Another interesting part of Jess’ life is that she unknowingly married a fellow dyslexic person. They raised four children, three of them are also diagnosed with dyslexia and all four have a total of eight neurodiversity. Did Jess see this as a major problem? No. She chose to have a positive approach and little did she know, the uniqueness of her family would lead to the beginning of her success.
In 2009, Jess was working as a realtor when the need to help her children paved the way for the beginning of her homeschooling journey. She started tutoring her second youngest son, unexpectedly while they were living in Texas. The following year, their family moved back to Las Vegas, Nevada and Jess continued to homeschool him as well as her youngest son, who has severe dyslexia and profound dyscalculia.
It quickly became apparent that she needed to homeschool his youngest son differently than she originally intended. This led her to use an Orton-Gillingham-based program and incorporate multisensory activities into their day. Within no time, her son was learning to read. A few years later, they moved to Southern California and they decided it was beneficial to homeschool her daughter who also has profound dyslexia and was struggling in traditional high school.
After helping her own kids learn, she inadvertently began helping others with the same struggles. Homeschool families began asking Jess to help their children. That was when Jess realized her true calling in life and later decided to shift career. Jess finally started teaching dyslexic students how to read and spell, and within a few years she incorporated multisensory math tutoring to her services.
In 2005, Jess received her certification as a Dyslexia specialist, tutor and screener. She has an extensive background of using multi-sensory techniques including teaching preschoolers, serving as an elementary school substitute teacher, and teaching homeschool classes, as well as homeschooling three of her own children. A few years in, she began coaching parents to learn how to confidently homeschool their children with learning differences. Jess never imagined that from being a young lady who was unaware of why her brain seems to work differently than the others, she would become a major inspiration and a big help to her fellow dyslexic people.
Today, Jess focuses on training her staff of tutors with the use of Orton-Gillingham and multisensory techniques. She also gives time for speaking out publicly in order to increase awareness and help families experience harmony. Most of all, it is also a passion of Jess to give back and help close the gap by volunteering time to at-risk youths who have dyslexia. By doing this, she hopes to contribute in trying to lessen the number of dyslexic individuals who end up going to jail or becoming jobless and homeless.
As a dyslexic, Jess believes that all people with learning differences deserve to have a bright future and she will continue to advocate for each and everyone of them. If there’s one thing Jess wants people to learn from her success story, it is for people to learn how to thrive rather than just survive.