Dyslexic: My Journey offers a wealth of information and hope for parents of learning-disabled children.
Dyslexic is the remarkable story of Mike Balzano, an undiagnosed learning-disabled child of working class immigrants whose antisocial behavior earned him the name “Crazy Mikey.” Failing at everything, he became a garbage collector until crippled by a back injury. He then entered an optical apprenticeship that turned his life around. He earned a high school diploma, graduated from a university magna cum laude, and earned a PhD with distinction from Georgetown University.
Balzano believes that the apprenticeship gave him the discipline and self-confidence to begin his journey. He urges parents, teachers, school counselors, and superintendents to expand their current focus of promoting college careers to include promoting careers that require apprenticeships.
Dyslexic includes the testimonies of parents who chose different approaches to address the learning disabilities of their children, and appendices where parents can find help. Balzano’s story illustrates that with the appropriate education or training, young people can capture the American Dream.
|Publisher:||Pathbinder Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)|
About the Author
Balzano was born in 1935 in New Haven, CT, of Italian working-class immigrants. A learning-disabled child, he dropped out of school and worked as a garbage collector. He entered an optical apprenticeship and attend high school at night. At 25 he became a licensed optician and managed an optical company in Stanford, CT. He studied history at the University of Bridgeport where he graduated magna cum laude and received a PhD in political theory with distinction from Georgetown University.
President Nixon appointed him to the White House staff as liaison with labor, blue collar and ethnic groups. In 1973 Balzano was appointed Director ACTION, the federal agency housing domestic volunteer programs, and the international Peace Corps.
In 1979, Balzano was a Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and published monographs "Reorganizing the Federal Bureaucracy: The Rhetoric and Reality" and "The Peace Corps: Myths and Prospects." He was a contributing author to the Hofstra University symposium on Nixon's presidency and the 1972 election.
Balzano was asked by Governor Ronald Reagan to direct the labor and ethnic outreach in his 1980 campaign. He served the same function for George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Balzano became Director of Government Affairs for the Joint Maritime Congress, a trade association of maritime companies and labor unions. In the early 1990s Balzano founded the National Industrial Base Workforce Coalition, which he directs. The Coalition is multi-state, multi-union and multi-industry, and spans the entire industrial base.
Balzano is the author of Building a New Majority recounting his 45-year history of advising presidential and congressional candidates on communicating with America's working class. Former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu described the book as "a great manual on how to overcome partisan stereotyping to get things done in Washington."