I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia in a single parent home. Life was not easy for me. I grew up battling a learning disability. I was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, i.e., Asperger's Syndrome as well as Tourette Syndrome. It was a challenge for me to get through school and do my work. I struggled in school early on and was picked on. My kindergarten teacher even told my mother that I would never do well in school. Luckily, I had had a supportive mother. She helped encourage me and she knew that I was intelligent. I was told to take general math in high school because I struggled in junior high. Nevertheless, I decided not to. I wanted to go to college like my mother did. I enrolled in college prep courses at Northeast High School. I worked hard and made the honor roll many times and I graduated with honors and received a partial scholarship to Temple University. I graduated from Temple magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology. I then enrolled at Fairfield University where I earned an M.A. in Applied Psychology and graduated summa cum laude. I was told by my professor that my masters paper was so good that he invited me to present it at a conference at the university. The title was, "The Effects of Culture on Learning Disabilities". I then enrolled at Walden University. The road to earn my Ph.D. was difficult. I had changes in committee members and a loss of personal relationships and jobs, but I kept persisting. I had to keep applying for more time to complete my degree. The disability that I was diagnosed with also helped my case. Finally, after almost 13 years, I finished my doctorate which is a Ph.D. in Academic/Health Psychology. The title is, "The Effects of Jewish Religious Identity and Age on Levels of Perceived Academic Stress". During this stressful period, I became more involed in my Jewish faith and joined the synagogue, Beth Sholom in Elkins Park. I even served on the Temple Sholom board until we merged with Beth Sholom as the recording secretary. Currently, I work with another psychologist, Dr. Linda Erlich whom I met at commencement in Minnesota. As it turned out, we live in neighboring towns and we are both Jewish and did not know one another until the day that we graduated. I fulfilled my dream of earning my Ph.D. in psychology in May 2010 after 24 years.