Lyn Pollard

Lyn Pollard

Parent Advocacy & Engagement Manager


Nat. Center for Learning Disabilities & Understood

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I did well in school, but I also quickly grew bored. Math was hard for me, but I had good support.
In high school I had an English teacher who fostered my writing talent. I also excelled in drama.
I majored in Journalism at UT-Austin and wrote for the campus newspaper; it was a great experience.
I worked in Journalism, Organizational Management Consulting and Marketing before my kids were born.
I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, during which I freelance wrote & worked for an app developer.
I started writing and blogging about my experiences with my children's learning differences.
One of my pieces about my daughter's dyslexia was published in The New York Times' parenting blog!
I have been working with the NCLD and Understood for several years. I love working in this field!
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Journalism
The University of Texas at Austin
Career

Career

Parent Advocacy & Engagement Manager

I connect parents to education & resources on learning disabilities. I also help tell their stories.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Writing
Writing
Communicating / Sharing Stories
Communicating / Sharing Stories

Day to Day

I work from home, which is fabulous, so that's a little different than your average workday in an office. I think that a great day for me means having the ability to successfully wear my many different hats-I'd get to do some advocacy work, some writing, some social media work, etc. I especially love any day where I get the opportunity to engage one-on-one with our constituents and parents. For example, today I got to have a coffee with a local parent and point her towards some great resources.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Relationship-building, partnership development, and basically knowing how to find a point of connection with people and build their trust. I have to form a personal connection with someone before they can trust me to provide them with help and guidance or tell their story. I also do a lot of public speaking, so that's a helpful skill set. I was involved in drama during high school and speech in college - and I still tap into what I learned in those settings when I speak publicly.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for middle school students

If you're interested in nonprofit or advocacy work, you should start volunteering at a young age. You need to learn how to be engage in and be dedicated to a cause. You can can start doing that as early as elementary school. On the writing side, I tell prospective writers to work for their school newspapers, whether in middle, high school, or college. Working at my college newspaper was one of the best experiences of my life! It helps you connect to your community and learn to tell stories.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Journalism
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You're not good at math."

I never felt confident with numbers. When I took algebra II and calculus in high school, I really struggled. I was a bright kid who got A's, so when I struggled with "getting" math, I felt something was off. I also struggled with simple things related to numbers like adding up a tip and telling time. I ended up barely passing my first college math class. Finally I was identified as an adult with Dyscalculia. Now I work on overcoming my math anxiety and finding accommodations that work for me.

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues
Learning Issues

My reading comprehension issue was not detected in high school. In college, as my reading load grew, I struggled to keep up. Plus Dysgraphia made "blue book" tests & note taking tough. I had to learn strategies & now use tech to help me read & write.