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John Rodrigues
John Rodrigues

John Rodrigues

"High School Dropout to Harvard"

Lake Elsinore, CA USA

"Don’t live somebody else’s life—take your unique talents and go live your own life."

Career Roadmap

John's work combines: Art, Food, and Learning / Being Challenged

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Day In The Life

Ice Sculptor / Author

I make artistic ice sculptures for hotels, cruise ships, and restaurants.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • Bachelor's Degree

    University of California-Berkeley

  • Graduate Degree

    Harvard University

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    Growing up, he always felt like he was smart, but his grades were terrible; he failed the first grade, and started feeling like he wasn’t as good as the other kids.

  • 2.

    After years of constantly feeling beaten down by the school system, he gave up and stop caring, eventually dropped out of high school.

  • 3.

    Before he dropped out, he signed up for a cooking class, and his teacher recommended him for a kitchen job at a local hotel.

  • 4.

    While there, he saw an ice sculptor carving a block of ice and was completely mesmerized; the sculptor took John under his wing and started teaching him the art.

  • 5.

    His yet-undiagnosed dyslexia strengthened his three-dimensional thinking skills, so ice carving came naturally, felt like he’d hit a “sweet spot.”

  • 6.

    Before long, his ice sculptures were in high demand...and he was only sixteen years old; he realized he could make a living doing the thing that he loved.

  • 7.

    Eventually, he went back to school and earned degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard University.

  • 8.

    Now, his passion is public speaking and educating others about how to foster the strengths that come with learning disorders.