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April 18, 2013 : AUDIO: OUL Student from Amanda Doesn't Let Anything Stand in Her Way

                                         Student of the Month Tutors Others despite Challenges

- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager


Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster April Student of the Month Mystique Hicks can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The 28-year-old is a few classes away from finishing her bachelor's degree. But, if you think that is a wonderful accomplishment, wait until you read the rest of Hicks' life story.


Hicks lives in Amanda and is a mother to two biological children and four step-children. She was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder while in elementary school. Then, in 6th grade, Hicks found out she was dyslexic.


mystiquehicks"I would get math tests back where I was mixing up my numbers," said Hicks. "The math was right up until the end where instead of writing 78, I would write 87."


At her parent's suggestion, Hicks kept quiet about her disorder. They decided not tell her teachers because they did not want her placed in special education classes. So, Hicks and her parents worked on ways to help her overcome dyslexia on her own.


"I read my math problems out loud.It helped me catch the mistakes," said Hicks. "It's just been such a part of my life for so long.It's just part of who I am."


Even with her coping mechanisms in place, Hicks struggled with math in high school.


"I hated math in high school. I failed math in high school," said Hicks. "But, once I started here, I just loved it."


Hicks is now an Applied Math major. She said she still has to deal with her dyslexia every day, but she is able to overcome it and do well in her classes. Hicks hopes to use the knowledge from the math and physics classes she has taken on campus and apply them to a fun career.


"The running joke in my house is that I want to go make Nerf guns," said Hicks. "I don't want to teach.It's for some people but not me. So, I'd like to make cool toys for kids. How cool would it be for my kids to go to school and tell people that their mom makes Nerf guns?"


Hicks was able to use her experience with overcoming adversity to help others on campus. She worked as a math tutor to help students who were struggling in class. Hicks said she told those that she was tutoring that if she could overcome dyslexia, they could get through their issues as well.


"Students tutoring other students is vital to the academic mission at the Lancaster Campus," said Associate Dean Dr. Paul Abraham. "Students feel most at ease at times working with a peer, and in turn the tutor gains deeper knowledge in explaining concepts to others. Mystique's efforts represent an impressive circumstance in which she has effectively reached out to peers despite challenges to her own learning."


"The dyslexia has been a blessing in way because you can relate to and help more people," said Hicks.