My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
2/10. Parents in nasty divorce, drugs, skipping class and feeling isolated from social cliches
Grades in high school
C's and below. Just didn't show up for class or complete work. I really loved some teachers and classes.
English, Foreign Language, Science
Math. I was always a gifted student who was pushed ahead of classmates. With math, turns out I was just good at estimating and never learned true mathematic processes. No more gold stars, but Fs. I was used to being the smart kid and had never learned to work hard for success.
Government / Civic (e.g. Mock UN)
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
BA in writing and literature; minor in spanish
Post-graduate education or training
MFA creative writing at Portland State University
Places lived in US
Arizona, Oregon, Washington
Places lived outside the US
Sonora, Mexico - universidad de kino
Current occupations / past occupations
Public Relations Director (now), Director of Development/Corporate Relations, 911 Dispatcher, Organizational Storyteller, communications Specialist, wrangler, waitress, teacher
Industries I've worked in
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Administrative and Support Services
- Educational Services
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes- particularly the breadth of extra-curriculars that gabe me confidence to jump into something new or risky. College was a way more collaborative experience than I expected - which was to follow a prescribed path to a mark of success.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I started as teacher and realized my writing and creative skills were more marketable and rewarding. Because I can write, I was hired into a prestigious PRfirm and trained on the job.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Living an authentic life where I can be myself, am appreciated for what I can contribute and where I can love and be loved.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I was concerned about how my career would afford me a certain lifestyle, based on how I was raised in affluent Palo Alto. Now I focus on how I can contribute to a mission I care deeply about and work-life balance.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Parenting. Raising kids has humbled me, made me address my core values and brought me into an understanding of how central love and relationships are to my purpose in life.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Choosing ambition in my career over time with my children. I learned how empty financial gain and business competition are if you are not taking good care of yourself and your family. I developed a chronic illness from the stress and to completely reevaluate my priorities.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I got a job I had applied for as a long shot and found myself leaving the city behind for a small, remote island in the PNW. I had fantasized about rural and island living, but didn't expect it to happen until I "had made it" - if ever. I put myself out there and was shocked to find myself living that dream. The lifestyle benefits of moving to a more tranquil, safe and rural area brought me into my true self, gave me the down time to go deeper in my relationships and rekindled the wild child who roamed 1970's PA with total freedom. My health and happiness improved, my consumerism dropped and my understanding of community expanded.
My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto