Paths from Palo Alto is a collection of anonymous life and career stories from Palo Alto alumni. We hope to shatter the myth that there is only one path to success.
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Alumni Stories



Sometimes following the rules gets you into a mess
 An "it girl" in high school who went on to UC Berkeley  ended up in a bad marriage to an addict, laid off from her job with two kids to support, but eventually found resilience and peace.

The 60's, Vietnam, corporate law, and family. Learning to say yes.
A Stanford University graduate who joined the Army, attended law school, worked as a corporate lawyer and became a husband and father. Still, he, "...regret[s] not having the maturity, or enough experience as a young man to be more intentional about [his] life path."

Here's a toast for the dropouts
A disillusioned alum who dropped out to gain experience and develop their individuality. After working, they attended community college, a UC and now a PhD program. "...[T]here is no rubric for life, and that [young people] should always take their own ideas seriously".

Living Life, Having Fun, and Finding Balance
A USC graduate who has worked in Tech and Architecture & Engineering, unexpectedly cared for an ailing parent for 13 years, lived multiple places, found true love and traveled extensively.


Some stats from our respondents so far

of alums, have changed their definition of success over time.

of alums, reported an unexpected event that significantly changed their life.

of alums, recalled a big mistake or regret.

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