I received this letter from a recent graduate of a Ph.D. program. It fills my heart with joy to know that the work we do at aha! Process resonates with people who grew up in poverty and inspires them to pursue their dreams.

Dear Dr. Ruby Payne:

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for the work you have done in the field of poverty. I was first introduced to your work in poverty years ago during my undergraduate capstone class. As a child of poverty myself, I was fascinated by your insight into poverty resources. During my first years teaching in Pensacola, Florida, I was fortunate enough to be in a small group of beginning teachers that were invited by the University of West Florida to attend one of your workshops. While it is doubtful you remember me, I remember how impactful that workshop was to my teaching career.

As I continued my educational journey, your work has always been with me. I recently completed my defense for my Ph.D. My dissertation work was based on the impact of the poverty resources you developed on special education students’ transition outcomes. My doctorate work would not have been possible without you. Again, with much gratitude and appreciation, thank you.

Matthew Lindquist, Ph.D.