My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
3/10. I was extremely isolated. Mostly I isolated myself, but I found it very difficult to make friends. Part of it was an economic divide (I had less money than most people in that school system, so I couldn't do some of the things everyone else was doing), and part of it was a contrasting cultural mindset. Most students were obsessed with being the best they could be, academically usually, but my family was more relaxed. I opted out of the stressful life, but the result was social isolation for much of high school.
Grades in high school
A's and B's
English, Math, Performing Arts
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
San Francisco State University
B.S. Biology (Botany)
Places lived in US
Current occupations / past occupations
I'm a botanist, doing work in plant records in botanical gardens and other such institutions. Conservation/education/visitor services
Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
- Museum services, botanical gardens
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
continuing to grow as an empathetic human, focusing on self-care, and strengthening connections with those I love and with the world.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I used to just strive to be happy. Now I know that there are many different ways to be, and happy is just a small part of that story.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
My greatest accomplishment was finding a community that made me feel welcome for who I am at the core, and gives me the space to express myself. By putting myself into a 'yes' frame of mind, I've been able to be a more authentic person, and so much more satisfied as a result.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest mistake was when I decided to prioritize immediate personal gratification over respecting someone very close to me. I learned that at times I can be very lonely, and that sometimes my fears of being alone cause me to be bitter and spiteful. I've learned not to ignore that part of myself, because it's human. I've learned that we all have demons, and it's important to accept that about ourselves, and try to put ourselves into a path where we can grow, and learn from our mistakes.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I wanted an internship in one field, and didn't get it. Instead, I took the next best option that seemed very boring at the time, but I wound up in a career path that I love and completely suits my skill set, but gives me room to grow.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Palo Alto has a way of narrowing people's minds to one version of success. There are an infinite number of ways to experience life. Be the writer of your own story.
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