The Difference Mindset Makes
Alumnus Alex Lee celebrates the difference the Learning Effectiveness Program made in his life
DU’s Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP) celebrates a big milestone this year — its 40th anniversary.
Since its founding in 1982, LEP has grown and evolved to become what it is today: one of the most comprehensive and innovative support services provided at the post-secondary level. It serves over 350 neurodiverse learners, students with diagnosed learning differences, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and students on the autism spectrum each year.
When Alex Lee (BBA ’12, MBA ’13) first heard about LEP, he wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about it as he is today.
“I remember being a little bit reluctant at first, but I decided to give it a try,” he says.
A program he almost didn’t get involved with quickly became something that he says not only had a profound impact on his academic and student life, but also on his life after graduation.
As someone diagnosed with ADHD, Lee says his diagnosis used to feel like a limitation.
“My mind is constantly moving at a million miles an hour. I used to feel disorganized and chaotic. Through working with LEP, I changed my perspective. I came to realize that having an overactive brain means that I’m constantly thinking about possibilities and ideas. If I can manage the way I approach organization, time management, and prioritization, the rest of it as an asset: how quickly I think and how my brain works,” he says.
The shift in mindset Lee gained from his involvement with LEP — from viewing his ADHD as a roadblock to understanding how he could harness it as an asset — has made a tremendous difference in his life.
“It’s changed the way that I carry myself in the world, both in my personal and professional life,” Lee says.
Lee largely attributes his powerful experience with LEP to its caring, inclusive community.
“What started off as a program to help build and sharpen my academic-focused skills progressed to participating in a community of people that cared about supporting my personal growth and success inside and outside of the classroom,” He says.
Lee remains connected with the LEP community even today. “I owe so much of who I am to the community of people in the LEP. I still meet with some of them regularly and feel fortunate that we continue to be part of each other’s lives,” he says.
Lee says LEP not only changed his self-image and perspective on his ADHD, it opened his eyes to differences everyone carries with them.
“I’m just more open minded about the different ways we operate as humans,” he says.
And to students who may be hesitant to get involved with LEP, like he was? Lee shares this advice: “Having support is not a weakness; it’s taking your potential and making it reality. Rather than continuing to live life with unfulfilled potential, work with LEP so you can tap into that potential.”