I Am What I Become – Constructing an Identity as a Lifelong Learner


Where the Road Leads: A Personal Journey of Self Discovery and Purpose

As a young woman, the path was predetermined. My mother, a WWII Russian concentration camp survivor, a young mother and widow living in the US, was determined that I would be the first in my family to attend and graduate from college with a degree in the sciences. A degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry and a second degree in History/Political Science followed. Opportunities to work in male dominated arenas were fascinating and challenging including heading the AMRAAM and Patriot Missile projects for a government subcontractor and working for high tech companies in Silicon Valley. Personal fulfillment was missing, a call for action heralded. Graduate school resulted in a change in career focus, Education Leadership. Subsequently teaching provided opportunities to work with and encourage female students to pursue the physical sciences, heading a NASA teacher outreach program, and leadership positions to assist and mentor future educators ensued. The path to personal discovery takes a turn when least expected, moving to Luanda, Angola, family in tow.  As an educator, the focus to bring awareness to the international student population of the plight of their peers; children orphaned by war, sleeping in the sewers, and wanting.  Advocacy was a beacon and call for action. Thus, the voices of those students who have been marginalized whether by gender, identity, race, ethnicity, or wealth have become a personal mission; continued growth and learning from others and their stories only strengthened my resolve. The journey of lifelong learning continues.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Book Chapter
Dr. Cheryl Burleigh
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Information Age Publishing
Information Age Publishing
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