As an Adaptive Behavior Teacher in the Houston area, I work with students that have not been successful in the general classroom setting. Through my own personal travels on what seemed at times to be a broken road, I identify with these kids and hope to help them see light and hope as they embark on their own personal journey along their life path.
You see, before moving from Iowa to Los Angeles in 1986, I was working toward a degree in teaching at a college near my home in Des Moines. The California dream for a vast majority of people means stardom or riches. However, my dream was a little different. I thought it would be awesome to work as a nanny for someone in show business while finishing my degree and beginning a career in teaching shortly thereafter. What I did not realize at the time I boarded the plane on March 16, 1986, was the turbulence that I would encounter along the way. I was a nanny for people in the entertainment industry and worked 80+ hours a week while in their employment with no time left for an education. I was also a receptionist, a secretary, and even a professional clown for a period of time. But every time I tried to map out a college education, I seemed to run into a dead-end.
While at times it seemed I would never achieve my goal, on March 16, 2001 – exactly fifteen years to the day of my move to California – I began my first class at The Master’s College Center for Professional Studies. I was a part of a newly-formed Liberal Studies/Teaching Emphasis cohort, specifically designed for working adults. Because it was an accelerated program, I was able to complete 73 units of study in just two year and graduated Magna cum Laude.
Although the journey was long, I now realize that the skills that I would need to complete my task were acquired along the way. I treasure many memories of people and places that I would not have encountered on a different path. I now believe that a part of success is the ability to enjoy the journey through which one travels to meet the destination. It seems the achievement of each goal is the beginning of yet another challenge. I feel as though the absence of trying new endeavors is truly the greatest failure. Each new step along life’s path enables us to build passageways from our own perspective to that of others. Each new challenge imparts an opportunity for growth and an occasion for service: service to God, service to family, and service to community. This I believe.
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