“Fifteen years into my professional career, I carried this baggage into my new role as the CEO of Our Turn (then called Students for Education Reform). I knew immediately that, as CEO, my cover was gone. Everyone was going to pay attention to every step, every word, and it would shape their impression of me. With the spotlight firmly on me, I found myself stuck between my upbringing — where excellence was all that mattered — and my desire to simply be me.”

This essay is part of Einhorn Collaborative’s “Stories of Us” series, where we feature insights, research, and anecdotes by storytellers, artists, musicians, culture makers, writers, creatives, and community leaders beyond our grantee and funder networks to explore the themes of belonging, social connectedness, empathy, and collaboration. Read the full story here!