Jake's Journey


Jake Miller was never good with spelling. He had a hard time formatting sentences. Math was daunting. He needed directions repeated, and was only able to take it one step at a time. Talking to people of authority was tough. That is until Joann, Jake's mom, ran into Kari, the Founder and Executive Director of Haley's Hope. She was telling Kari how Jake, who was 10 years old at the time, struggled in school. Kari advised her to bring him in to be tested. They discovered he was dyslexic and immediately created a plan.

There was a time when math became even more difficult for Jake. Kari often stayed after hours with him and she also set up a meeting with his teacher to ensure she knew exactly what he needed to focus on. Kari even went as far as taking a 2-week out-of-state training to learn how to best help Jake and eventually other students. He was amazed by her dedication.

Jake continued tutoring at Haley's Hope until he was 14. While working with Kari and the amazing team at Haley's Hope he learned a lifelong lesson - NEVER GIVE UP! Jake is more confident talking in public now and he recently did so for an open house at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, North Dakota, where he attends school. He presented to parents and new students interested in the Wind Turbine Technician career path.

This past summer, Jake worked in Sitka, Alaska as a deckhand. He was tested daily on how he communicated with his peers and superiors and he also had to learn the boating language, which meant expanding his vocabulary. He believes strongly that if he didn't work with Kari all those long nights and push himself, there is no way he could have done it.

The week Jake was leaving to work in Alaska, he showed up unexpectedly at Haley's Hope. Kari was overcome with emotion and began to cry because she was so happy to see him. They talked for a few hours about how life was going and then she showed him how much Haley’s Hope had grown through both the addition of more staff and the increase in number of students they were helping. Jake knew this new adventure would be challenging, and a stop at Haley's Hope beforehand was exactly what he needed. Kari reassured him he was ready, that he'd do amazing work and to set fear aside. That dose of inspiration and all of the hard work he had put in before, set him up for success.

Jake finished working on the ocean and went back to Lake Region State College. After one week of being back, he was climbing wind turbines and working with all sorts of wires, and again, another challenge was put before him. He knew what he needed to do. Jake stayed up late studying the layout of the tower, every detail, and he now knows he needs to break things down to better understand and to ask more questions.

He put in the work to learn it. Kari always taught him to believe, to push himself to learn the information and not to be lazy! Jake thinks of Haley's Hope as one place that he can always count on if he needs help. He has learned great techniques that will help him grow well into the future.