Life does not always follow a certain order of events

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience

Grades in high school
Mostly A's


Favorite subjects
English, Foreign Language, Math, Science

Struggled with...
I had a hard time engaging in history and my senior government class.

Favorite extracurricular
Sports / Recreation

Life since high school

After I finished my bachelor’s degree..I unexpectedly became pregnant and my partner and I decided to have our baby....So, I learned that sometimes things in life don’t happen in the order you or society thought they would or should, but that that was okay, in fact, really great for me.

Attended college / university at
I went to UCSC and later, did a second bachelors at SF State.

Post-graduate education or training
I am a registered nurse and an internationally certified lactation consultant. I have various certifications related to my job (i.e. Neonatal Resuscitation, CITI- or human subject research certification) etc.

Places lived in US
California, Wisconsin

Places lived outside the US
Yes, Mexico and Costa Rica (about half a year each).

Current occupations / past occupations
I am a nurse, lactation consultant, parent and perinatal educator. I volunteer as a comprehensive sex. ed. teacher in Palo Alto and have worked with teens locally.

Industries I've worked in
- Utilities
- Administrative and Support Services
- Educational Services
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Nonprofit

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
My initial bachelors did not prepare me for a career, but for more education. After spending a summer in a lab analyzing specimens, I knew I would not be content working in research (I was a biology major) and that working with people was important to me. College was more stimulating than high school academically, but after [high school name omitted], it was also not as hard as I expected academically.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I taught at a private charter school for one year and then worked in a special education program for middle schoolers on the autism spectrum and/or with emotional issues. It took me those experiences to figure out I did not like classroom management, but do enjoy teaching. I now teach classes for adults (expectant couples) as a small part of my career. Nursing was not my first choice career at age 22, but it actually has meshed with my interests (public health for example) and with motherhood quite well.

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Being successful means contributing to society, knowing and honoring myself, figuring out how to love/care others (i.e. my family) best, and using my intellect. 

My definition of success has changed over time. 
It has more to do with the satisfaction I draw and my own priorities being sorted out.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I don't think I have one single greatest accomplishment. My husband and I bought a home a couple of years ago in Palo Alto and have made a really cool garden and outdoor space for our family and friends to enjoy.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
When I was in college, I did my thesis in Costa Rica. Part of the prep of tree root samples I did involved working with a carcinogen called trypan blue. I worked in a field station with no hood to remove the vapors. As more people that I know get cancer, I sometimes worry about my cavalier attitude about using this chemical. I learned that although I did not feel invincible at age 21, I was not as in touch with the fragility of our physical bodies as I am now 

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
After I finished my bachelor's degree, I worked at a private school. I had plans to pursue a masters in International Public Health. I unexpectedly became pregnant and my partner and I decided to have our baby. It was both difficult and wonderful to have a baby. My own ambitions were paused, but I am very grateful that things have worked out the way they did. I have two amazing kids now with my partner/husband and I work locally in a profession that supports public health. So, I learned that sometimes things in life don't happen in the order you or society thought they would or should, but that that was okay, in fact, really great for me.

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

Lately, I have been enjoying Mitchell Park and all of its resources (new library/cafe etc.)