My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
8/10. I really enjoyed high school while I was experiencing it, but in retrospect I wish I had been more authentically myself. I will always wonder if my happiness was genuine, given that I was not out about being gay. It was not that my high school was an unsafe or unwelcoming environment, but I will always wonder if my relationships and moments of growth could have been richer.
Grades in high school
Mostly A's. I received a C in Chem Honors my sophomore year, and in Calc AB my senior year. I even received a warning from my undergraduate institution that they were aware of the final math grade and would be expecting that to not be the case in the Fall. It was very scary, and I never even told my parents, but it ultimately did not affect my time in college. No one asked me, or cared, what my GPA was or what my class rank was, because we were all already there at the same school, and what mattered was what lay in front and ahead of us, not behind.
English, History / Social Studies, Foreign Language, Psychology, Crim/Cv Law
I struggled the most with Chemistry Honors. The curriculum was very fast-paced, and I was afraid to ask for help.
I was heavily involved in my parish community, my cultural community, and in a technology/academic community. All three of these areas took up my free time and enthusiasm. There was not one that I liked more than the others; they all completed me.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
I attended Stanford University.
I majored in Feminist Studies, and double minored in Education and International Relations.
Post-graduate education or training
I am currently attending UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
Places lived in US
Current occupations / past occupations
The summer before starting college I worked in retail at a pool supplies store (fun fact: I went in thinking pools are gross, I left that job KNOWING pools are gross!) During college I worked as a math tutor for students ranging from ages 7-18; I was a cultural programming co-coordinator for an Ethnic Theme Dorm for two years; was a Community and Academic mentor for first-year students through the LGBT Center for two years; and I worked as a classroom aide at my college's lab school/preschool. In order: during my undergraduate summers I worked in Human Resources and Finance at a local start-up; I traveled alone for the first time; and I was an event coordinator with a local non-profit focusing on parents and families of LGBTQ Latino youth. After college I worked at a health tech company that focused on employee benefits enrollment, and then as a paralegal at a plaintiff-side firm in San Francisco, CA. I am not fully occupied with law school.
Industries I've worked in
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Administrative and Support Services
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
I think my college experience prepared me by what I learned and how I grew outside the classroom. I think one thing that was a shock to my system was the navigation of the job market. In high school, and in college, there was insufficient attention and weight given to the job searching experience.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
It has not; I have known since high school I wanted to work in the legal world. What has developed over time are the areas I see myself in: I used to see myself in patent law, working at the intersection of highly technical and legal, but now I see my calling to have shifted more toward affecting change in education and for historically overlooked communities.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Engaging in work that is meaningful to you; work that you feel makes a positive impact on others.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I used to think my work or position as a "successful person" could only be so if there was a tangibly measurable output.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
My greatest accomplishment has been putting myself through college, and now law school, after I came out to my parents. I learned that the definition of "family" is much more expansive than I used to think it was. I learned it is okay to share yourself and your story with others and accept their support.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest regret thus far was not taking more "fun" classes while I was in college. I decided to do two minors, only one of which I was actually passionate about, because I was trying to appease my parents. That decision made every single quarter unit-heavy with classes necessary to fulfill all the requirements. It kept me in high-stress, high-caffeine, little-sleep, mode for most of college. It was not worth it; I learned I cannot let myself wither away because of someone else's expectations or dreams for me. I have to want it and love it for myself.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
Losing people in my age group over the years has been very hard for me. All of them were unexpected, and each time I am reminded that we, as peers/neighbors/friends, are responsible for one another, to a certain extent. I build and work at nourishing my relationships much more conscientiously now, since the first passing, and it has helped me feel not only a healthy sense of duty to others, but I also feel more cared for by my communities.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Even though I had a heavy academic load in college, so much of my learning came from my experiences outside the classroom. I put myself in academically high-stress situations, but it was manageable in comparison to how I felt in high school. I always tell people: I learned to nap in college. Just think about that for a moment. I learned that it was okay to rest only once I was already in college. If I could tell my high school self anything, it would be to take a deep, lungful-of-air, breath and remind yourself it is okay to rest. Your energy and effectiveness reservoir is only so deep, you have to allow yourself to refill. Remember to nourish yourself, whatever that means to you (a favorite food, family time, the outdoors, a nap, etc.)
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
I love walking The Dish at Stanford, and I love visiting my high school campus when it's empty. It's a way of reminding myself of the space(s) that built me.