My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
6/10. I was late 60's early 70's - spanning two decades. I had an older sibling who was very charismatic and popular and I was always compared to this sibling by teachers and friends. I had few friends and was not in any of the clicks in school.
Grades in high school
Mostly A's. AP classes and only three B's in all three years.
Computer Science / Engineering / Technical, English, History / Social Studies, Math, Science
Language - mainly because the instructor believed I should know more because of the ethnicity of my family.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
As a result of not following my heart at the beginning, I drifted from UC Berkeley, to San Jose State University, to Foothill JC, to my final alma mater in the midwest.
Post-graduate education or training
B.A., M.A. JD
Places lived in US
California, Kentucky, Ohio
Current occupations / past occupations
Currently and for past decade, Part-time researcher and blog/newsletter writer for a PR/Marketing firm; and a Community Activist and serving on several community non-profit boards. Retired Deputy Warden in State Prison System, previously a Parole Supervisor, Parole Officer, Probation Officer, and Social Worker, Merchandising Mgr., Sales Representative.
Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Public Administration (e.g. Government, Police, Judicial, etc.)
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Eventually it did.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes, I initially thought I would go into medicine or nursing and that changed to social work which eventually led to community corrections which led to inside the prisons. Things happen and as I became truer to myself, I found my niche but not without struggle and self-doubt along the way.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
First of all being happy in my own skin and content with my own company and using that to make a difference in the world.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I was brought up to become educated and to earn a living and make a great retirement for myself.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
On the personal level - loving myself and knowing I am the best I can be. Once I accomplished this - all else in the world was superficial to my happiness. On the professional level - achieving a position where I was able to make a difference in the lives of others. I learned through trial and error that being true to myself wins out in the end.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
That I let others influence my area of study at the beginning of my college career and did not following my gut. No education is wasted - I have been able to use everything I learned through the years but it delayed my professional path.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I was involved in an auto accident that significantly affected my mobility for the rest of my life. It eventually forced me into early retirement from my profession but opened up doors to community service I may never have found.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I would like for readers to know that there is life with depression - I have suffered from chronic depression before it was something to diagnose in youth. There have been times when I hit the bottom and thought there was no living but there is - and the struggle is so worth it, so please keep fighting.
This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
In order to protect anonymity, we will pass along your message and they can choose whether to respond.
My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
Shakey's Pizza after Friday night football - team and cheerleaders from the three (yes three) high schools in watching Laurel & Hardy or Buster Keaton Silent Movies, eating pizza and out-cheering each other.