Frank Geefay - My Story

I was born with learning disabilities which I was not aware of until later in life and social impairments which I did not know about until after I retired.  When I was a child I had great difficulty remembering things and reading.  This was in the 1950's when little was known about learning disabilities and autism.  So I went through school thinking that I was somewhat mentally retarded and very shy.  I did not know I had dyslexia which made reading very laborious and slow.  I was always at the bottom of my class with poor self esteem.  I was sometimes the object of teasing and bullying being also an Asian minority.

I barely graduated from high school at the bottom of my class and went to a community college to become a technician.  But I always aspired to become an engineer like my uncle so I took college entry classes and eventually went to a four year college which took me six years to complete.  I then went to graduate school because I couldn't find a job.  I was an extremely poor student throughout college but had a knack for doing very well with independent projects.  One professor though me quite brilliant and was not aware I had almost failing grade in other classes.

After graduating I got a job in a good high tech company and worked there for 37 years until retiring.  I did quite well at work and created many opportunities for myself to do creative projects.  By then I knew I was not mentally retarded but simply had multiple learning disabilities.  I eventually created a new technology and acquire a number of patents which furthered my career.  I also married and have two lovely children.  I had a great career and a fantastic family neither of which I had any expectation of achieving.

Though my earlier life as a student was a struggle my later career and family life were dreams come true.  But I had to work very hard at it.  Life has never been easy.  Perhaps that also in part contributed to my successes.  Life was always a struggle but I had persistence to stubbornly carry things through to the end instead of giving up.  I learned after retiring that I probably have Autism Spectrum Disorder which accounts with my extreme difficulty with socialization and other peculiarities.

Though life has not been easy going my struggles have taught me many lessons about life making me empathetic for other people struggling through life with their own roadblocks.  I believe that it was my struggles in life that taught me the most valuable lessons in life but it was the opportunities in life that opened the doors that allowed me to Reach the Impossible Dreams.  I didn't know it at the time but it was the persistent pursuit of opportunities that got me as far as I got.  You can't simply wait for opportunity to come your way.

I created this philanthropic foundation to open the doors of opportunity for others 'To Dream the Impossible Dream' and 'To Reach the Unreachable Star' as I did.  I hope this post gives others some inspiration for such hope.  My best advice to those perusing their dream is not to give up but to persevere even though the going is tough.  There are few shortcuts through life if one really want to become successful.  It is very hard work.  People are not born with talent.  They really have to practice and work extremely and persistently hard at it.  Ask any talented person.

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Carlos Padilla
    commented 2015-07-17 12:06:41 -0700
    Very inspiring story Frank and I commend you for being brave enough to share it. Hopefully it will inspire others that are struggling to be as persistent and driven as you. Congratulations on your success!