There is an image I think about when considering my purpose. It is the last picture taken of Earth by the Voyager 1 on Valentine’s Day, 1990. It is blurry, unclear, and vague. It is mostly dark except for the streaks of light from the sun; some might say it is empty except for a tiny blue dot that is very difficult to see.
This tiny blue dot is Earth. It contains all the love and joy you and I have ever known or will ever know, all the learning and exploration we have ever done.
Carl Sagan encouraged NASA scientists to slowly turn Voyager at the last moment as it passed Neptune to take this image—it wasn’t planned and it didn’t necessarily have any scientific value from the perspective of the engineers.
There are times in our lives when we cannot see ourselves clearly; when we might be blurry and vague. But then we move outside of ourselves, we change our perspective and take a moment to look back, to reflect, to be curious.
I aspire to support those I work with to be curious and ask questions, to listen and seek understanding, and to trust the process. I am committed to creating spaces where everyone can bring their full selves. Acknowledging the best in everyone, sharing our talents, and expressing our positive energy can transform spaces where leaders, educators, and students can explore and create. Through collaboration and compassion, I believe we can find innovative solutions to our most pressing challenges.
Over 30 years later we are still learning from Voyager 1 as she continues on, wandering the galaxy, offering us a perspective never before imagined. I am inspired by learning and am inspired to learn every day. In my work, I strive to inspire others to learn. I can only hope that my legacy will be in helping educators and students navigate our ever changing world and motivate them to make a difference in their local and global community.
My work with Ten Strands provides me with the opportunity to combine my love of learning, my passion for collaboration, and my desire to create innovative learning spaces with my appreciation and affection for California. After six years of working in statewide education policy, coordinating the development of the Climate Change and Environmental Justice Program has allowed me to return to my commitment of helping educators and students connect to the beauty and complexity of California and become stewards of our state.