ALUMNI SPEAKER PANEL: TRANSITIONS AFTER MIRMAN
On Wednesday, April 29, 7 alumni spanning 42 years of Mirman School history returned to campus to speak with our senior students on the subject of transition. Each alumnus and alumna offered a unique perspective and, drawing on their own experiences, engaged in an open dialog with our students about life after Mirman.
Nick Abouzeid '02-'09, a senior at Harvard-Westlake, mentioned that an invaluable advantage of being part of the Mirman alumni community is that one can engage with people that were sitting (some of them literally), where our seniors are today and reap the benefits of their unique perspectives and experiences over the 5+ plus decades of Mirman's history.
David Ulick '82-'84, Attending Staff Physician Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, told a story about applying to medical school: "All of the other applicants seemed to be either a Biology or Chemistry major, but my unique interest in history is what really made me stand out. The Admissions officers wanted to talk to me because I was the 'History major that lived in North Africa' [David lived in North Africa and Spain and double majored in Cultural History and Neurobiology]." David continues by saying to "do what you love, and if you like two things, do them both. The thing that you might think is a little weird, is what might get your foot in the door."
Dana Chidekel '67-'74, a Neuropsychologist, pointed out that "the wonderful thing about your gifted minds is the drive to master things, your curiosity, and your desire for knowledge. I encourage you to always trust in those abilities, because it will give you opportunities that you cannot necessarily see from here. Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you'll see farther."
Josh Lockman '89-'96, Lecturer in Law at USC Law, said, "The building and inculcation of independent, self-driven learning that happens here at Mirman, will benefit you down the road tremendously. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to be at a school that allows its students the opportunity to pursue whatever they are passionate about."
Katie Liptrap '97-'06, a Behavioral Specialist and Researcher at the Childhood Development Center, can relate to how many of our seniors are feeling as they approach graduation. As a recent college graduate, she understands that moving into a new phase of life can feel overwhelming. She advised our seniors to try and strike a balance between living in the moment and planning for the future. She told them to "trust in the abilities and the skills that you have learned here at Mirman, and know that you will be okay and that you will find your place, wherever you end up."
Nick Greif '95-'01, Economic Development Business Team for Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, talked about how significant the decision was for him to travel and study abroad. "I was in a totally new environment, and exposing ourselves to new environments is how we grow."
Gizelle Pera '96-'03, D.D.S. Candidate at the UCLA School of Dentistry said that "this is not the only transition you're going to make in your lives. Mirman has given you the strength and the confidence to go through each step. No matter what transition of life you are in, reflect on what you've learned here, and the values that you've built, and that's really going to help you."
After pointing out that his very first Mirman teacher was in the audience (Ms. Jocelyn Balaban), Josh Lockman told our seniors that "you've had amazing experiences here and you will go on to build on them in your career in a myriad of ways. You will absolutely find that this is a place where you can always come back to- it will bring back great memories. Mirman is a milestone and benchmark for future success."