Palo Alto Is Just Where You're From. Not Who You Are.

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
6/10.  My high school was very competitive and I always felt like I was defined by my grades. Being in the middle of the pack academically was depressing because my friends all tended to excel at academics. I wish someone had helped me to figure out to find the activities I would enjoy outside of my classes.

Grades in high school
A's and B's. I come from a family of academic achievers. What mattered was grades and whether they would be enough to get me into a top university. No one really asked if I was learning anything.


Favorite subjects
English, History / Social Studies

Struggled with...
Physics and chemistry.

Favorite extracurricular

Life since high school

I spent a long time trying to be the kind of person my parents wanted me to be and used it as an excuse not to do the hard work of figuring out what do do with my life.

Attended college / university at
UC Berkeley

Majored in
Economics and Public Policy

Post-graduate education or training
Masters in Public Policy; University of Chicago

Places lived in US
California, Illinois

Current occupations / past occupations
Current: Executive, researcher and lobbyist at a professional association.

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

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
No. Have stayed on the public policy path.

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Happy, healthy and engaged in satisfying work and personal relationships.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Realizing that all those "resume-builders" matter very little in the long run. I spent a long time trying to be the kind of person my parents wanted me to be and used it as an excuse not to do the hard work of figuring out what do do with my life.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Making the transition to being an actual adult. What I learned is how little I knew and understood when I was younger about the ways that life can surprise you. It's taught me to be kinder, less judgmental, and how we cannot even begin to imagine how special we are to those who love us and how unimportant we are to the rest of the world.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Not taking the time to explore my learning and career options when I was younger. I dismissed so many things because I was too scared to make mistakes and fail hard. I'm trying to do better with my own kids and encourage them to really be more open to possibilities,

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
A close friend passed away very suddenly from cancer in his early 30s. It made me realize that my time in this sweet spot of being young and healthy and with my kids is so short and fragile. It caused me to really edit my life and discard goals, obligations and relationships. It's allowed me to have more time and energy to focus on the things that I want and that interest me. It's a work in progress, but the experience has helped me to feel comfortable with myself and not worry about who does or doesn't like me,etc.

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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

The Dish!