Tom Cruise is a founding board member of the Hollywood Education Literacy Project, known as H.E.L.P., a community-based literacy and mentoring project providing one-on-one tutoring for students and their families at no cost.
The cause is dear to Tom because he was once diagnosed as dyslexic, a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin and characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
It was a condition he refused to accept. “I hired tutors and things," Tom said. "It just didn’t get better.”
That was until 1986, when Tom discovered the L. Ron Hubbard Scientology Study Tech.
“I always thought there is gonna be a way,” he recalled. “I'm gonna figure this out. And I am gonna fight thru it and I am gonna figure it out and I am gonna make this work.”
Through H.E.L.P., that same learning technology that helped Tom is available to any adult or child at no cost.
According to the technology, having an object you are studying physically in front of you is crucial. This is called “mass” The concept is simple: if you are studying an airplane, have an airplane in front of you if you can.
“Hopefully you get a model, you get pictures,” Tom said.
Or, perhaps, you get the real thing. Because of the technique, Tom mastered flying and today has his pilot’s license.
But his proudest achievement is helping others who may be similarly troubled by a lack of literacy.
“It is definitely the most satisfying feeling ever,” Tom said. “Because I look at these faces and I see these children and adults come in here and you see them change before your eyes. They're learning how to read! But beyond that, they're getting these tools that are going to forever put them in a position where they know that they can learn anything.”