Gabrielle's Open Road

GABRIELLE LEE

Contracts Administrator
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

“In school, I was so insecure. But understanding that I didn't have to be perfect and live up to crazy expectations from parents and society freed me. Embrace imperfection.”

INTERESTS:

Writing Business

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Self-Reflection Struggle Experience Fulfillment Family Support & Encouragement Talent Perseverance Doubt Societal Pressures Education

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Being Challenged

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Had always dreamed of becoming a dancer and even auditioned for The Rockettes.
  • Attended the University of California, Irvine, where she received her bachelor’s degree in dance choreography with a minor in English.
  • Admits that in college, she took on way too much and, as a result, struggled with mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and OCD.
  • After suffering numerous injuries and dealing with exhaustion, she decided to give up dancing professionally.
  • Got married when she was 20 years old—her parents were initially unsupportive.
  • Decided to go to graduate school at Eastern Washington University, where she received her master’s degree in creative writing.
  • When she graduated, she found it difficult to find a job with a living wage in that field—she’s since worked as a teacher, an editor, a publisher, and a speech and writing coach.
  • Now works as a contracts administrator for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she manages a portfolio of projects and acts as an advocate for technical personnel when it comes to paperwork.

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