Dillin Randolph

When I was a teenager, I had summer jobs as a custodian. It paid pretty well. So when I got to college, even though I was working as an office assistant in the pharmacy department, I decided to look for more hours cleaning schools. I figured I could do that until I got my degree in communications.

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Lupe Ramirez

It's hard to view my career in stories. Maybe it's not even my story. Maybe it’s the story of my dad.  I grew up in South Chicago. My dad was a preschool teacher. And everywhere we went, it was like, ‘El maestro, el maestro!’ And so that made me a celebrity by extension: la hija del maestro. 

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Margi Bhansali

I went to school to be a journalist. My financial aid package required that I take on a work-study job. So during my first year of school, I worked with Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps program where they put college kids in Title I preschools.

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Ashley Kannan

I grew up in Oak Park in the 1980s. People were all about the melting pot. The idea was that everyone is the same and nobody looks different — we're all part of this collective homogenous blob. One of the drawbacks to that was that I was never really seen.

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Elliott Hile

I was the kid who was under the table with a fireman's helmet on, covering his ears because he didn't understand what people were saying. I would get frustrated all the time because I didn't understand multiple syllable words. So in elementary school, I was diagnosed with dyslexia.

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