What did you want to be when you grew up? Part 5

Today we have the fifth post in the series curated by Stephanie Florence, 40:20 Vision’s contributing / Millennial editor, reflecting on how childhood dreams affect the people we become. Read the other installments here: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4.


Jayne Juvan – From Law…Then and Now

“When I was a toddler and first started walking, I constantly tried to put on my dad’s shoes. Heavy and awkward, I would not give up until I had both on my feet and was able to take achildhoodpic few steps forward. I now understand that this was my early attempt to be just like him.

My entire life, I’ve always looked up to my dad. He’s a prudent investor who has a strong interest in politics, history and law, and he operates with a stubbornly persistent “failure is not an option” mentality. From the moment I was born, he wanted me to become the first lawyer in our family and consider pursuing a political career.

Fortunately for him, it did not take much pushing and prodding for me to walk down his recommended path. When I was about five, I declared my intention to be a lawyer to my family. I started speaking in front of hundreds at Mass while still under the age of ten, and my family knew I had a dual purpose — I wanted my message to resonate with the audience, but I was also secretly attempting to improve my delivery for future speeches on the campaign trail!

In high school, I turned to speech and debate and went 4-0 during my first Lincoln Douglas tournament. In college, I served as Student Government Vice President, attended the Democratic National Convention for Al Gore and stood in the snow and sleet at the Inauguration for George W. Bush (my dad still has my chocolate White House from the Inaugural Ball I attended!). In law school, I served as the Editor-in-Chief of Law Review. Now, I practice corporate and securities law for a large firm that has multiple offices throughout the US. I made partner after seven years of practice and was recently featured in the Forbes e-book by Denise Restauri entitled Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk from Women Who Beat the Youth Trap.

At 34, I have a much better understanding of why my father pushed me so hard to follow my chosen path. The hardships we face in this world are deep, overwhelming, and, to many of us, painful. From the financial instability we have experienced over the last several years, to cruel diseases like Ebola and AIDS, to inequality and lack of acceptance of people from all walks of life, the world in which we live is complex and challenged. For many of us, life in the 21st Century still involves much more struggle than it ought to involve.

My father encouraged me to pursue law or politics, but now I understand that what he really wanted me to do is emerge as a leader. What he was trying to instill in me all along is that the strength of our leadership ultimately determines whether we succeed or fail, rise or fall.

Like so many others, the path for me has not always been easy, but I do believe I have a unique opportunity to make an impact because of my upbringing, education and training. My dad was trying to prepare me to take on some of our world’s most difficult problems, and, because of him, I am more committed than ever to do my part, whether in a small way or a significant way, to help to lead my generation and future generations to new and better heights. – Jayne Juvan, 30-something, corporate and securities law partner at Roetzel & Andress, LPA

Kim Lucio – From Being a Mother…Then and Now

“For me, when I was a kid, I knew I wanted to have a family. Seeing my mother take care of my sister and me, we would always look up to her and her role in our lives. I hope to someday do that with my children as well. Being the first person to inspire, instill responsibility, and most importantly, teach to love, in my children’s lives, is something that I feel I prepare more and more for each day by living my life with a sense of respect and love for others.” –Kim Lucio, 20-something, digital marketer

Did a younger version of yourself lead you a particular direction in your career? We’d love to hear your story in the comments or in your own post.

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