Melody Glines

South San Francisco Adult Education

Life has not been simple for Melody Glines. She was born on June 24, 1956, two months early. She was born with a moderate to severe hearing impairment and has worn hearing aids since the age of 6. Her doctors told her parents that she would be deaf by the time she reached 21. Elementary school was very traumatic for Melody. However, Melody had worked with a speech therapist, which she credits for teaching her to speak so clearly today. When Melody was growing up, her mother became very ill. Her mother was only 40 when she started having epileptic seizures. Melody quit college to take care of her mom, and at the same time, Melody was struggling with her own "disability". Hearing aids were quite expensive back then, costing several thousands of dollars and insurance did not cover them. This put a financial burden on the family. Today insurance will cover only a small portion.

As Melody got older, she decided to move ahead with her life. She married her childhood sweetheart, Michael. They have 3 children, Jason, 18, Justin, 14, and Sarah, 12. During their 19 years of marriage, she and her husband were injured on their jobs. They have been on welfare, and had to file bankruptcy twice. Melody also suffers from carpal tunnel in both hands and has permanent nerve damage in her right hand. In addition, Melody is faced with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and two bad disks in her neck. Seven years ago, her husband suffered a heart attack and went in for a triple bypass at age of 41 the week before Christmas. Her oldest son Jason has severe Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and learning disabilities.

Melody had always intended to go back to school but she never had the time or opportunity. Presently, Melody works for the South San Francisco West Orange Library as a Library Assistant. She enjoys her job at the Library, but wants to improve her job skills and at the same time learn something new. As her children got older, she saw a chance to go back to school. In 2002, she enrolled at the South San Francisco Adult Education and completed two (2) computer programs (Windows 98 and Word 2000). After completing these programs, she decided to further her computer training. She has finished Introduction to Business Office Careers and currently she is taking Computerized Office Technology. Her goal is to finish these two programs within this year, Melody says, "Learning computers has made a difference in my life and using computers has been an important tool for me and my children. Her son, Jason, has learned to use the software programs and do research on the Internet for his school projects. His school grades have improved immensely and he graduated from El Camino High School in June of this year and is presently enrolled at Skyline Community College in Special Education Classes.

Melody's dream is to be self-sufficient, and wants her children to understand how important an education really is. Since learning computers at the adult school, she has made the computer a valuable tool in her job. Her advice to fellow students is, "No matter how old you are its never too late to get an education," She also wants to stress the importance of knowledge and not giving up when things got tough. Melody is determined to overcome any obstacles that come her way.

When Melody is not working at the library or attending class, she is busy with church, friends and family. She and her husband are parents advisers on the Board of Directors of the "B.O.K. Horseback Riding Program" for disabled children. She has volunteered in the past at the San Mateo County Health Services, where she helped other parents find resources for their children with disabilities and helped at a hearing impaired class at beginner level for two years at an elementary school. Melody is a very strong advocate for children and adults with disabilities regardless of what their disability is. She continues to be actively involved in organizations that work to improve the lives of the "disabled."

Today, Melody is in a different place now. She says, "Overcoming my disability has helped to mold me into the person I am today, Looking back at those years, I never would have imagined that I would learn so much about myself." It took her almost thirty years to discover her true calling, but Melody believes that all of her experiences were necessary to get her where she is today. Her children are her motivation and she makes every effort to be a positive role model for them.

Melody is a success because she took something negative that happened to her and turned it into something positive. She has developed the skills and strategies needed to face any challenge and overcome any obstacle that may cross her path.

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