University of Phoenix, Special Education, Health Education, California

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
4/10. I have some really good memories, but I also remember feeling awful. I would not want to relive being a teenager. I was too worried about doing well in school and never felt like I completely fit in.

Grades in high school
Mostly A's


Favorite subjects
English, History / Social Studies, Math

Struggled with...
I don’t know that I struggled in any required classes. I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be in art, sports, foreign language, or music.

Favorite extracurricular
Community Service / Social Activism

Life since high school

I used to think you had to have a high level job to be considered successful. I think you can be successful at any level - but you should live the life you can afford.

Attended college / university at
University of Phoenix

Majored in
Double major in Recreational Therapy and Mass Communications.

Post-graduate education or training

Places lived in US

Places lived outside the US
Peace Corps in Tunisia

Current occupations / past occupations
- Special Education Teacher - PC Tunisia
- Health Education Consultant (29 years)
- Mom

Industries I've worked in
- Educational Services
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Public Administration (e.g. Government, Police, Judicial, etc.)

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes, career as a health education consultant required a graduate degree.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Went to grad school after the Peace Corps.

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Being happy and feeling that your work and life make a difference. It’s also being able to support yourself and your family and having enough money in the bank to take care of emergencies. Sometimes you have to sacrifice to maintain success (i.e., keeping a job with benefits if you’re the one that provides the health insurance). Some people may believe that you should sacrifice the health benefits and follow your passion, but I believe success is being able to support those I love. And I’m female, so I’m not coming from a male breadwinner viewpoint.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think you had to have a high level job to be considered successful. I think you can be successful at any level - but you should live the life you can afford.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I honestly don’t know... I’m proud of having been a Peace Corps Volunteer; I’m proud of getting my master’s degree; I think I had a successful career - I’m happy I was able to retire before 60!

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I made a couple of poor financial choices - luckily it didn’t hurt me long term, but it’s frustrating to look back and realize I was ‘taken advantage of’. I also wish that I had taken more chances and lived a little more on the edge when I was younger - before I was a mom!

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I got sick a few months after going overseas with the Peace Corps. I had to go home via D.C., and deal with an illness in my early 20’s. I was able to rejoin the PC the following year, but it changed my experience. There were positives and negatives - I got to know a cousin who lived in D.C.; I took some classes at SFSU and reconnected with a high school friend - both of those friendships only blossomed because of the circumstances. But it made things a little weirder when I returned to the PC - I was with a new group, but in some ways I didn’t really have a group. And for many years I had to take meds and I still have to worry about some health aspects even though it was 35 years ago.