In 2005, at the age of 15, Dean Jenkins was told he had the reading age of an eight-year old. He grew up with dyslexia and dyscalculia, meaning he left school with few prospects. But now, eleven years later, Dean is the founder of start-up Codez Academy
The story of how he got there, is an inspiring one.
“It was very hard for me. I felt like I had nowhere to go when I left school,” Dean started.
With few options available to him, he got a flooring job. It’s something he did for a few years until he started to suffer back trouble. Someone who loves the outdoors, Dean became a greenkeeper, but there was no improvement in his back pain and he was laid off.
In 2010, Dean had an operation on his back and he was hoping for a brighter future. But things took a turn for the worst a short while after the operation. He was still feeling some discomfort in his back and one night, got up from the table but suffered paralysis from his waist down. Thankfully, he regained some movement shortly after and two months later discovered a 6cm marker needle had been left in his body from the surgery.
Another operation followed, and Dean was dealt another blow.
“The hardest part of it was the fact that I was on the dole. And I was told I wasn’t ill enough to receive these kind of benefits,” he said.
2012 was when things took a turn for the better. Dean took his opportunity to change his life. He opened a sweet shop next to his grandmother’s house.
“I was only earning £50 a week, but it was better than being on the dole.”
Dean’s ambition and determination to succeed meant that he wasn’t content. He started learning how to build a website for the shop. He didn’t like the ‘drag & drop’ system used by some web providers. So he started to look more at web design and front-end web development. A job in the industry and an attempt at launching his own business soon followed. At that time, Dean found running his own business a challenge, but found a thirst for teaching.
Find out what happened next by reading more about Dean and his story here.
Find out more about the Codez Academy on their website: http://www.codezacademy.co.uk/
Dean’s story serves as an inspiration to those with disabilities who are looking for careers or who are looking to start businesses of their own. Do you know anyone who has had similar success to Dean and who would want to share their story? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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