50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021
Leslie De Rose
Higher Education/Former Trustee, PVUSD Area V
"Surround yourself with people who are genuine. Know and respect yourself enough to allow only good-intentioned people into your circle. Treat yourself (and advise yourself) as you would your very best friend."
What is the best thing about being your age?
Three things come to mind:
1. I look back at all I have experienced personally and professionally, and feel confident that I have gained the tools, emotionally and intellectually to tackle anything that comes my way.
2. At this age I also really started to think about my health and my finances as it pertains to my longevity. There are many years to look forward to and I am empowered to make good choices for a healthy and happy future.
3. I now have the opportunity to take care of myself. Having raised kids who have become self-sustaining adults, and although heartbreaking, my parents have passed, I now have the time to further my education, which I am loving!
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
I became an independent soul at an early age. At 16, my Mother moved to the East Coast to remarry and I chose to stay in California with my Father. It wasn't a healthy situation and I learned quickly to take care of myself. Why? Later, being a single mother, I had to draw on those skills many times over. Even though my teen years were less than ideal, ironically, it set me up for success when faced with challenges.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
Traveling to Europe with my Mom. Having the opportunity to spend real, quality time with her for the first time since she moved away, was priceless. It became more important because she passed six months after the trip.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Knowing my family and close friends are healthy and happy. A peaceful world.
What is your most treasured possession? Christmas ornaments were passed down several generations. They are stunning. Also, everything else of my Mom’s that I now have. It makes me feel close to her.
what do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being a mother of two great adults.
What is a trait you are most proud of?
I’m very outgoing and I like to meet new people and learn from different perspectives.
what is your greatest extravagance?
The 50/50 project was pretty extravagant! Other than that, taking short trips, really good restaurants, and good wine.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Even with the experience and confidence that I have gained over the years, I still sell myself short sometimes. I would like to give myself proper recognition for my abilities, without being over-confident. There is always more to learn.
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty, integrity, and kindness. Also, an adventurous spirit!
What is your motto or favorite quote?
"Where there is a will there is a way." It's old, but I have found it to be true in many situations I have been in. What advice would you give your younger self?
Look at the world around you. Travel! Get an early education. Reach for the stars! Be comfortable with who you are and know what you want out of life before finding a life partner. Choose someone who will help you shine and become your best self.
Words of wisdom for younger women
Surround yourself with people who are genuine. Know and respect yourself enough to allow only good-intentioned people into your circle. Treat yourself (and advise yourself) as you would your very best friend.
Begin exercising and taking care of your skin before you think you have to.