Growing up, I was not aware of the crazy, hard work my father (pictured above on the left) and uncles undertook to regain all they lost during the war. They wanted an easier life for us and realized that through education we could succeed.
I definitely grew up in a different time than my parents. We suffered through name calling, but we were not barred from getting a good education and entering professions. For me, if I had the credentials and experience, I was able to secure rewarding, challenging work and to contribute in meaningful ways.
But I always felt like a misfit in the mainstream community. I gravitated to positions where I could in some small way pave a path for people not as fortunate as I was. Rather than working for a university, I chose to work for a community college focussed on programs for immigrants and underserved students. They more so than university students needed the financial support to pursue their educational dreams. I wonder if my parents’ hardships somehow impacted these career choices?