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Have you ever stopped and wished there was a blueprint or guideline for every phase of your life? How wonderful would it be if there was a book entitled, “How to be the world’s best mom” or “student”, “daughter”, “sister”, “wife”, “girlfriend”. Books, articles and journals have been written by psychologists, sociologists, and life coaches on what we could do to be better at these things, yet I am a firm believer that what we should be working on being better at is entitled, “How to be the world’s best me”. With this question in mind, the first thing we should ponder about is, “Who am I?”. Not what my favorite hobbies are, my preference of color, types of culinary arts I enjoy the most but what makes me... me. Yes, these little things make up part of who I am; nevertheless, they are not the essence of who I am. Throughout my life, I’ve always felt the need to fit in somewhere, to belong. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something bigger, a purpose. My teenage years consisted of changing the type of clothes, music, hairstyle and even the way I would...

by Summer Horenstein Sometimes a degree is only viewed as a stepping-stone to a lucrative career, but maybe that’s part of the problem with the gender and education gap. If a college education is only viewed as a prereq to that nice salary position, those who don’t see themselves in the breadwinner role or the white-collar job, may just see those tuition payments as unnecessary. I grew up in California with my parents, three sisters and one brother. When I was 18 I moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where I graduated with my Bachelor Degree in Psychology. I have been happily married to my college sweetheart for 8 years now and we have three adorable children. For me, there was really never any doubt in my mind that I would attend college and graduate. My parents made it their prerogative to instill in my siblings and myself the importance of education. My father worked hard to provide for our family, and everything I ever needed I had. He found ways to spark my imagination and motivate me to learn. My mother made the sacrifice to quit working outside of the home when I was just a baby. Instead, she used...

Before retiring in May 2014, my mom, Kathy, worked in a sector of education which is often overlooked, but imperative for those struggling with speech difficulties. As a speech language pathologist (SLP) she was employed in the Utah public school districts for a little over 35 years. While also raising her own two children, she dedicated her life’s work to assisting elementary students with speech impairments. She worked relentlessly to craft and add inflection to their tone, ultimately allowing them to find their voice, and thus, their confidence. Her work was demanding: the caseload consistently changed, kids would move in and out of her district. Nonetheless, my mom loved and was dedicated to her work. No two SLP kids were the same. The dynamic challenges kept her job engaging, even when a case was particularly frustrating. Her SLP students loved her and she felt her team in special education was supportive and encouraging. Mom and I would often talk about some of the difficulties in her job: from policy that increased the demands of her position to challenging parents. She was always working through a problem and I was fortunate enough to see her work through it first hand. I can...

This series of posts are brought to you by the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah Its 2016 and in honor of the New Year, we dedicate this blog to the subject of getting your finances organized. Yes, budgeting and saving your money are very important to your financial success and well-being, but if you don’t take the first step of understanding where your finances lie you will not be able to budget or save properly now or in the future. We understand that sitting down and figuring out where you stand financially can be quite daunting and scary. But think about it this way: becoming financially aware is the first step to becoming financially successful in your life. It’s one small uncomfortable step in comparison to a new world of financial stability. The first steps to becoming financially aware: 1. Total your monthly income We use monthly income because it is easier and less stressful than calculating your yearly income. The first step in becoming financially aware and ensuring future financially stability is knowing your income. Begin by writing down ALL aspects of your income. This includes but is not limited to money you receive from financial aid organizations, loans, parent...

This legislative session, I have the honor of being a young legislative intern for a remarkable woman in the Utah House of Representatives. And as I sit in my training seminar with all of the other legislative interns from colleges across the state—University of Utah, Westminster, Utah State, Salt Lake Community College, Dixie State, Southern Utah University, among others—I count the women. There are 21 women out of approximately 65 interns. Moreover, there are only 3 women of color that I can see (including myself). Of course, this is a dramatic improvement from 1998, when now-Salt Lake City Mayor (and my former boss) Jackie Biskupski first took her seat in the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, 21 women here is still a minority. Despite the fact that women make up just under 50% of the undergraduate student body at the University of Utah (University of Utah 2013), only one third of the interns represented were women. To me, neither number...