Esther Wojcicki

Ep 64: The “T.R.I.C.K.” to Raising Successful People | Esther Wojcicki

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Welcome to Episode 64!

Our guest for STIMY Episode 64 is Esther Wojcicki.

Esther Hochman Wojcicki is a leading American author, journalist, educator, vice-chair of the Creative Commons Advisory Council and founder of the highly regarded Palo Alto High School Media Arts program – a journalism program that went from a small group of 20 students to 1984 to cover 600 students, 5 additional journalism teachers and 9 award-winning journalism publications (one of the largest in the USA!)

Esther has been intimately involved with Google and GoogleEdu since its inception, where she was one of the leaders in setting up the Google Teacher Academy and remains a guiding force.  

With two Honorary Doctorate Degrees – Palo Alto University (2013) and Rhode Island School of Design (2016). She was California Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; a recipient of the Gold Key by Columbia Scholastic Press Association in recognition of her outstanding devotion to the cause of the school press; a board member of Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, DC, and on the Board of Newseum in DC; and a has been consultant for the U.S Department of Education, Hewlett Foundation, Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, Google, Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Time Magazine Education. 

And if all that wasn’t impressive enough, Esther is also known as the “Godmother of Silicon Valley”. She has raised her 3 daughters using her T.R.I.C.K. methodology to become some of the most successful women in Silicon Valley. 

There’s Susan Wojcicki, the oldest, who is the CEO of YouTube; Janet Wojcicki, a Fulbright-winning anthropologist & professor of pediatrics at the University of California, and Anne Wojcicki – co-founder of 23andme: a genomics company that lets you test for ancestry and health risks. Anne was most recently listed as number 93 in Forbes List of World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2020!

But what does it take to raise successful people? 

What is Esther Wojcicki’s famed T.R.I.C.K. methodology & how do those principles translate into the classroom? 

What was Steve Jobs like in person?

Is it good to be a tiger mum sometimes?

And what has she been up to during the COVID-19 pandemic and what advice does she have for parents raising children during this strange period in time?

All that and more in this episode.

PS:

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    So This Is My Why podcast

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    Who is Esther Wojcicki?

    Esther shares what it was like growing up in the 1940s under a father who believed strongly that if you spared the rod, you would spoil the child.

    She also shares the pivotal moment that caused her to see education as a means of survival. And how she went against the grain and strived to become further educated, even if it meant being disowned & cut off financially by her parents!

    • 3:54: Growing up as a Russian Jewish immigrant
    • 7:02 Why Esther thought education was necessary for her survival
    • 10:41 Being disowned for pursuing a university degree
    ...if you don't take care of yourself, nobody else will. And you need to be able to read and be educated and understand what's going on in your world, or you won't be alive.
    Esther Wojcicki
    Esther Wojcicki
    Author, educator, mother

    Becoming a Mother

    After graduating from the University of Berkeley, Esther got married and had the first of three daughters. She shares how she navigated her parenthood (at a time where there was little information or guidance) & how she strived to make her children as independent as possible.

    Even going so far as ensuring that one of her daughters could swim the entire length of a pool at 12 months old!

    • 13:59 Becoming a mother
    • 16:51 Figuring out how to be a parent
    • 19:41: The lemon girls
    • 20:59: Swimming at 12 months old!
    • 23:05: Table manners

     

    Esther Wojcicki

    Teaching at Palo Alto High School

    When her youngest daughter turned 5, Esther went to teach journalism and English at Palo Alto High School.

    She shares some of her most memorable incidents, including almost being fired & working with Steve Jobs, and how she built the program to become the largest in the country!

    And finally, she shares her thoughts on Asian mums and why she founded Tract with her former student, Ari Memar, during the pandemic in 2020.

    • 27:38: Teaching at Palo Alto High School
    • 33:09: Steve Jobs & 7 free Macintosh 
    • 36:54: “How to Raise Successful People” 
    • 38:34: Defining “success”
    • 40:09: What the T.R.I.C.K. methodology
    • 48:58: How tiger mums can help kids become more independent
    • 49:45: Are there instances when you need to be a tiger mum?
    • 50:43: Founding the Tract with Ari Memar
    • 56:41: The 20% rule

    If you’re looking for more inspirational stories, check out:

    • Joey Law: Mother to Hillary Yip on what it was like being the former Senior Inspector of the Hong Kong Police & mother to a preteen/teenage entrepreneur 
    • Hillary Yip: 15-year-old founder of MinorMynas, on what it’s like to balance homeschooling with building her own startup since the age of 11
    • Robert James Ashe: Former Head of Post-Production at the Conan Show on all things late-night & being the father to 3 amazing children with physical challenges
    • Lim Pui Wan: On her single-minded pursuit to become a professional miniature artist & how she ended up on Ryan Reynold’s limited edition Snapchat series!

    If you enjoyed this episode with Esther Wojcicki, you can: 

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    External Links

    Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:

    STIMY 64: Esther Wojcicki

    Esther Wojcicki: When my youngest brother was roughly 16, 18 months old uh, we had a tragedy in the family, which was terrible, really. He was playing on the kitchen floor with the bottle and he accidentally opened the bottle and it happened to the aspirin and he took it.

    He ate the whole thing. I don't know how he could have done it. And then my mother called the doctor's office and asked what to do. And unfortunately, either he wasn't listening to her or the fact that she didn't pay full price because we were not well enough to pay full price.

    Who knows what happened with what he was thinking. But what happened is that he told her information that was wrong. He said, put them to bed and see how he is in two hours. Well, you never do that. When somebody ingests a poison, the first thing you do is run to the hospital and get it out.

    So my mother listened and in two hours he was violently ill. So we took him to a community hospital where they pumped his stomach, but they don't have a facility to keep them there. They give you a shot or pump your stomach or whatever, but then you have to go home.

    He was so sick he needed to be kept in a hospital. So we went from one hospital to another hospital. And we find it by the third hospital. The reason that we didn't go into the first hospital, they won't accept him because we had no proof of payments. So in the U S they have this terrible system, not all over the U S now it's changed where if you can't prove that you're going to pay, they won't take care of you.

    There was no proof of payment. So by the time we got to the third or fourth hospital , it was already too late. He died an hour after we got there. So this left a huge mark on me. And it impacted my life. I think it impacted the lives of my children as well.

    Because what it said to me is that if you don't take care of yourself, nobody else will, and you need to be able to read and be educated and understand what's going on in your world, or you won't be alive.

    Ling Yah: Hey, everyone!

    Welcome to episode 64 of the So This Is My Why podcast. I'm your host and producer, Ling Yah, and today's guest is Esther Wojcicki.

    Esther is known as the Godmother of Silicon Valley. She is a global best selling author, journalist, educator and vice chair of the Creative Commons Advisory Council, and last but not least mother to three daughters who are considered some of the most successful women in Silicon valley.

    There's Susan, the oldest, who is the CEO of YouTube. Janet, a Fulbright winning anthropologist and professor of pediatrics at the University of California and Anne - co-founder of 23andme. A Uh, direct to consumer DNA testing company that lets consumers test for ancestry and health risk.

    Fun fact: Anne was most recently listed as number 93 in Forbes list of World's 100 most powerful women in 2020.

    In this episode, we talked about Esther's upbringing as a Russian Jewish immigrant and how she realized that education was necessary, not just to improve her life, but also so that she could survive. We talked about how she raised the three daughters, then went back to work as a teacher at Palo Alto high school, where she transformed the journalism program and grew it to become the largest in America.

    What Steve jobs was like in person - she used to teach his daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, her advice to all tiger moms out there. And why did she start a new company called Tract during the pandemic. And her open invitation to all Malaysian students listening.

    So are you ready to find out why it takes to raise successful people?

    Let's go.

    You were born in the 1940s. And I wonder what it was like growing up first in New York, then in LA as Russian Jewish immigrants.

    Esther Wojcicki: Well so I was born in New York city, in the lower east side.

    I do remember that my most favorite place to be in New York city was Central Park. And that was pretty exciting. My parents were very poor. They came to the United States from Russia and they thought they were going to sort of arrive in the land of milk and honey.

    And it was actually not the land of honey because it was the depression. They had a lot of financial issues and my father had a career that didn't pay a lot of course, unless you're famous. He wasn't. Yeah, he was an artist. And so, if you see those artists around, you know that they're not making a lot of money, most of them. There are just a few that are making a lot of money.

    So we didn't have a lot of money. And my father thinking that, well, perhaps the world would be better for him if he went west.

    The idea was, go west young man. And so he went to California when I was about five and a half years old. And that was quite the experience as well, because we went from being in the city to being literally in the middle of the country.

    The roads were all dirt. They didn't pave the roads. The houses were spread far apart. There were grape vines everywhere, so it was a dramatic change. And for me as a child, I liked both of them because I liked New York. I liked the central park. I liked being able to go and play near the water. They have those cute ponds there and ice skating.

    But I also really liked Los Angeles because it was very rural and there weren't a lot of rules and it was exciting for me to be there. But at that same time, my brother was born. My younger brother. And being in an Orthodox Jewish family, it became very apparent that boys are valued and girls are not.

    And that happens in a lot of societies, culturally. That is not unpopular.

    My dad told me specifically when my brother was born, that my brother was now much more important than me. And I of course don't then understand. I was only five and I didn't believe him. I thought, well, something must be the matter with me, he's having a bad day, but it turns out that it was true.

    And the way that it manifested itself was that they just spent a lot more time with him. And all the resources that we had went for things for him. Whether there was clothes or toys or whatever it was, he got all of it.

    I was not thrilled with this idea, but I adapted to it.

    I just figured, you just have to cope with it. They expected me to do so much on my own that I became empowered. I was very smart. I was able to do a lot of things for myself.

    And because my brother was so pampered, he ended up being much more dependent.

    I have one more brother. The one just after me was five years younger and then the other one was eight years younger than me.

    So then it was two to one, two boys and one girl. Right. I really liked my brother, and they didn't know that they were supposed to be more special than me. They just knew that they got a lot more advantages than I did.

    Somehow it didn't affect me. I don't know why, but it didn't. When my youngest brother was roughly 16, 18 months old uh, we had a tragedy in the family, which was terrible, really. He was playing on the kitchen floor with the bottle and he accidentally opened the bottle and it happened to the aspirin and he took it.

    He ate the whole thing. I don't know how he could have done it. And then my mother called the doctor's office and asked what to do. And unfortunately, either he wasn't listening to her or the fact that she didn't pay full price because we were not well enough to pay full price.

    Who knows what happened with what he was thinking. But what happened is that he told her information that was wrong. He said, put them to bed and see how he is in two hours. Well, you never do that. When somebody ingests a poison, the first thing you do is run to the hospital and get it out.

    So my mother listened and in two hours he was violently ill. So we took him to a community hospital where they pumped his stomach, but they don't have a facility to keep them there. They give you a shot or pump your stomach or whatever, but then you have to go home.

    He was so sick he needed to be kept in a hospital. So we went from one hospital to another hospital. And we find it by the third hospital. The reason that we didn't go into the first hospital, they won't accept him because we had no proof of payments. So in the U S they have this terrible system, not all over the U S now it's changed where if you can't prove that you're going to pay, they won't take care of you.

    There was no proof of payment. So by the time we got to the third or fourth hospital , it was already too late. He died an hour after we got there. So this left a huge mark on me. And it impacted my life. I think it impacted the lives of my children as well.

    Because what it said to me is that if you don't take care of yourself, nobody else will, and you need to be able to read and be educated and understand what's going on in your world, or you won't be alive.

    And so I turned from sort of a lackdaisical student who was, you know, I was okay. I wasn't great into somebody that wanted to know everything.

    I was just an ordinary student. That was about fourth grade, that happened.

    By the time I was in seventh grade, I realized that being educated was the most important thing I could do to get myself out of poverty, to get myself out of the situation I was living in.

    And so I became a really good student. I made it my goal to get a college education. But in Orthodox Jewish families, girls don't go to college. They get married and they have children.

    And so I was 18.

    My parents thought it would be a great idea for me to get married. Why not? You know, they'd already picked out somebody that looked like a good candidate, and I was not interested in that at all. I decided I wanted to go to school. University of California, Berkeley just happens to be one of the top schools in the country, but I managed to get in. Not only did I managed to get it, and I got a scholarship

    Ling Yah: You applied without your parents knowing?

    Esther Wojcicki: They didn't know that I applied. And um, my parents basically disowned me financially. They're like, you want to go to college, you have to pay for it all yourself. We're not paying anything, nothing whatsoever, not even going to drive you there.

    So I got there on the bus. That was tough, having no money and everybody else came to college, they seem to have a lot more money. What I did is I got jobs. I worked. I was uh, a afterschool playground supervisor for kids. That didn't pay very much, but it was fun.

    My most lucrative job was I was a model and that paid a lot. So I did a lot of modeling.

    But yeah, just by chance I happened to be very tall and thin and it turns out that's what they look for when you model. Cause my parents were short. My mother was five foot two, very small, and my father was about three inches shorter than me, five seven. And everybody was like where did she come from, you know. They think their answer was, oh, she just has so much better nutrition because in Russia, the nutrition was not that great.

    So that's what happened in terms of me being able to be a model.

    So I went through university of California at Berkeley and I got a degree.

    Ling Yah: I wonder what it was that drove you because it was so difficult. Your family wasn't supporting you. You had to do so many, many jobs in addition to, I think you were one of the very first in your family to go to college.

    Esther Wojcicki: I was the first.

    Ling Yah: Did you feel as though, once you have college degree, that's enough education, as opposed to lets finished high school, I have enough education to survive.

    Esther Wojcicki: Was sort of, you know, I wanted to have more. I wanted to really understand what people were thinking and doing. And I realized that people that had a good education had a better economic outlook and they earn more money. Their lives seem better somewhere around. I don't know all my readings.

    I realized that I would have a better life if I had a college education.

    So I was it, I was going to get a college education. And there was no question about it. I learned how to learn. That was probably the most important thing.

    And I learned how to cope in spite of all the stressful situations that I was in. You're right. I mean, I could have easily quit and then just gotten married. And in those days, when you got married, somebody took care of you. You just did nothing. You stayed home, you took care of the family and you produced kids.

    The pressure on me to get married was intense. And so when I had just turned 21 I got married and I'm still married to the same person.

    But I didn't do exactly what they wanted me to do because they wanted me to marry somebody that was also an Orthodox Jew. Instead I married a Catholic. And so this threw the whole family into a tizzy, yes, I was not seen as the well behaving obedient daughter. It was not a good situation, but for me it was good. I was happy that I did that. I had a college degree and I had a husband. So that took care of that.

    Ling Yah: And what was the plan after that? When you had your first child?

    Were you thinking, oh, I can't continue being a journalist. I need to be a full-time mother?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, when I had my first child, Susan, the rules were very different back then. When you were pregnant and you were a teacher, they forced you to quit. You could not teach and be pregnant at the same time. The philosophy was that if you're pregnant, you're giving people the wrong idea of what is good.

    So fortunately, when I was pregnant, you could hardly see that I was pregnant. I'm so tall. The baby was able to like stretch up and so I would manage to make it through to the ninth month before I finally quit.

    Wow!

    We couldn't even tell I was pregnant. It was very difficult. Of course the doctors were worried because they didn't have ultrasounds back then.

    They're like, what kind of a baby could she be having? Because it's so small. And I remember there were two or three gynecologists in the room when she was born, because they were like, there's probably going to be something the matter with this baby. Anyway, just so you know, she was eight and a half pounds and there was nothing the matter with her, nothing.

    So it just was that some people carry their children and you can't see it as much as you can with others.

    So I was very happy to stay home with her. I wanted to teach, but in that era, it was much harder to find babysitters and women that worked, you were seen as an anomalies, like something might be the matter with you.

    Like why in heaven's name would you be working? You know, don't you have enough money? And so my husband wanted me to stay home and so I stayed home and I was very happy I did. I had a good time playing with my daughter. And on the side I ended up being a writer. I was still a writer. I still worked, but I was a ghost writer.

    I don't know if you know what that ghost writer is.

    Ling Yah: So you don't get the credit for it.

    Esther Wojcicki: You don't get the credit, but you get paid. So I was a ghost writer. That worked really well for me because I got to do something that was interesting. And I got paid quite a bit and I got to take care of my daughter. And so she was so cute and so well behaved this baby.

    Incredible. That I decided right away. Oh my God, I have to have another one. And so janet was born 18 months. She's 18 months difference between Janet and Susan and she was born pretty quickly. So that is the reason because Susan was just a dream child and Janet was much more aggressive, polite, and easy to get along with. And Janet was like, I want my milk now.

    Ling Yah: Wow. And what was your thought? You know, first time you're having a child. I can't imagine there was a lot of material out there in terms of how do you parent and I read it so that you didn't also want to parent the way you had been parented.

    So you had to forge your way.

    Esther Wojcicki: That's right. I did not want to be parenting the way that I had been parented so I had to forge a way. And there were no books that I could find on how to parent. The main book that I used was a book called Dr. Spock. And I loved Dr. Spock. It was like, I knew him and I memorized that book, but it was all medical. Everything, you know, if your child has a rash, if your child has a fever, if your child doesn't sleep on his stomach and should be sleeping on his back. He told you everything.

    And one thing he said that really had an impact. It was on the first page of his book. It's basically, believe your own gut instincts as a mother. And I thought, wow, that's the first time I've ever heard anyone say that. And I was just thinking about my poor mother. She would have listened to her own gut instincts if she would have been smart enough and felt like she could challenge the system, then that wouldn't have happened.

    But she was afraid to challenge the system. She was afraid to speak her mind, and she didn't listen to her own gut instincts. I mean, it just makes sense that if something goes in and that is not supposed to be there, you need to get it out. And so I decided he was right. Gut instincts.

    And so the main thing I wanted my children to do was to be independent. I wanted them all to be as independent as early as possible. And I gave them many opportunities to be independent. I taught them a lot of things that people probably never taught their kids early. I taught them how to swim early.

    I toilet trained them pretty early. I taught them how to make their own breakfast early. I taught them a lot of things that most people never taught their kids. They just waited around until it was more convenient or something. And it had an extraordinary impact that I did not anticipate.

    And the impact was that they felt very empowered. They felt like they were able to handle any situation. It was kind of remarkable.

    You know, you bring your child together with other kids in a little playgroup or whatever, and you let them all play. And there's kids that whine and kids that scream about things and kids that are not happy and kids that are always wanting the mother to do it for them.

    And I realized that my kids were very independent, that they could do a lot of things on their own. And I just continued doing that.

    Ling Yah: Weren't they also known as the lemon girls as well and they would purchase lemons from a neighbor and sell it back to the neighbor.

    Esther Wojcicki: Yes, right next door, there was this wonderful neighbor in Mr. Danzig and they had this incredible lemon tree in their front yard and it was prolific. Lots of lemons. They were like all over the place. My daughters asked them if they could pick the lemons. And they said, sure, they were thrilled that they were picking the lemons because there were too many lemons.

    They put them in baskets and then they walked up and down the street and sold lemons to everybody on the street, including the people whose lemon tree they had used. And those people, they were so nice. They bought the lemons, they were like 10 cents a lemon or something like that. That was their first business. They were the lemon girls and that went so well .

    They earned a lot of money then they became creative. In other kinds of businesses, they could come up with, they created all kinds of handicraft things and they would sell them all the time. It was one thing after another, the neighbors, thank you. All those neighbors for being so kind. They all bought their things, whatever they were selling.

    It was very nice.

    Ling Yah: You mentioned swimming. I mean, one of your children, she swam when she was 12 months old. How did that happen?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, she was a very, very athletic child. She walked at 10 months and this kid is so incredibly physical. I need to make sure she knows how to swim because she's the kind of kid that jumps in the pool when you're turning your block back for a minute.

    So I taught her how to swim. I bought a book, which I still have, by the way, the title of the book was not very creative. It was called, " How to teach your baby to swim". I didn't even know you could do that. And it worked. I followed it like a recipe, like making chocolate chip cookies and she could swim by the time she was 12 months old, she could swim from one side of the pool to the other and babies can't do the overhand crawl.

    They swim kinda like fish. They do little dog paddle. So she would dog paddle and then she would come up for air and then dog paddle and come up for air. But she could swim across the whole pool with this dog paddle come up for air technique of hers. And Susan also learned to swim a little bit later. She was 20 months.

    But she could do a little bit more traditional strokes. She kept her head out of the water and she would pull herself kind of a breaststroke style. By the time they were both five years old though, they were on swim teams. And Anne was also on the swim team. Anne started on the swim team when she was three, because her two older sisters were already on the swim team.

    She didn't want to be left out. So, I just did it because A it was fun, B it was protective. And also they could be with the peer group and do fun activities and it's exercise. So that was the main reason I did it.

    And it worked out. It was a really good activity for all of them.

    Ling Yah: You mentioned that you were forging your path. I imagine not everything you tried was successful. Any example, come to mind in terms of what didn't take so well and how you thought about it and made it such that it was successful and fit your children's styles.

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, there were some things that were not as successful as others. I think one of them was I should have taught them better table manners. Took me a long time to get them to have the proper table manners. And I think that I didn't do it because I projected on them that they were too little. And so since they're so little, they don't have to have good manners yet. And that was a mistake because once they got older, they still didn't have good table manners. And I think that kids stick with what they learn first.

    When they're 2, 3, 4, 5, if they are getting away with bad manners, when they're 1, 2, 3, it's very hard to change it. It's hard to say, well, now you're five. You need to do this. So if I were to do it again, I would remember that even little babies can learn to be polite at the table. you know, We lived in Switzerland when Anne was an infant and I would go to the restaurants in France, in Geneva and you would see a whole family there. And all the kids were sitting politely, including babies. And that's when I realized I should have done that early. And so I'd like to remind all parents out there start it early. You will not regret it.

    They're just smarter than you think, whatever you're starting early, they keep. They're like little mounds of clay. You mold them. And by the time they're five, they're already molded.

    Ling Yah: I imagine your style must have been seen as very unconventional and you wouldn't have been possible if you didn't have a supportive partner. So your husband was a Stanford professor. And I wonder how, the two of you parented together.

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, he was a Stanford professor. Still is a Stanford professor, and we agreed a lot on the parenting, but he was not there very much because Stanford professors work hard. And so I had more of an opportunity to be with the kids most of the time, but the way that we parented is that I did most of the day-to-day stuff during the week.

    And on the weekend when he had time, he would do everything. We would go places on the weekend together with the kids. He had prioritized being a soccer coach for each of the dark girls teams. So he did first Susan and Janet then Anne. And so that gave him an opportunity to work with them really well.

    And also we did a lot of vacations. We traveled a lot together and by the time Anne was one and a half, she'd already been in every European country. Because we lived in Geneva and we would drive all these places. So we agreed on pretty much everything connected with parenting only.

    I was the one that did it and he was only there on the weekends.

    Ling Yah: And so when Anne was five years old, that's when you went back to work, what was that transition like? It must have been unusual for people to go back to work after having children.

    Esther Wojcicki: It was very unusual. As a matter of fact, in my generation, my age group, no one went back to work.

    I now have a book group of all my friends and in that book group there was just one other woman and me that actually went back to work all the rest of them stayed home.

    Ling Yah: Why did you go about what was driving you?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, I was always passionate about helping kids and teaching and being a journalist.

    And this just gave me an opportunity to do something besides just stay home. I stayed home for 10 years. That was a long time, and I just wanted to have an opportunity to make an impact and to help other kids. I also wanted to be a journalist and it was very hard to be a journalist as a woman in the 1960s and seventies, women were not journalists.

    It was an old boys club. I could not get it into the San Francisco press club because I was a woman. I couldn't get into any press club. They had an honorary society for journalists, a separate one for men and a separate one for women. So things changed a lot. so I was fighting the system, but then I also wanted to work with other kids.

    I always liked being a teacher. I guess that's been one of my main passions in life, helping kids be the best they can be.

    Ling Yah: Palo Alto high school. What was the experience like?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, I first started teaching in 1980 as a substitute. That was okay.

    But then I was hired in 1984 and it was very interesting experience for me. I had five classes. One of the classes was the journalism and the way they taught was by having a textbook called press time for the journalism class.

    The kids read the book and then they answered the questions at the end of the chapter. Then they moved on the next week. They read the next chapter. And after that, they read the following chapter and I realized without talking to anyone, no one was going to learn to be a journalist by reading that book ever.

    And I was going to get rid of the book You know, I was not tenured. And when you do things that are outside the system, and you're not tenured, you are threatened with being fired.

    So I was very fearful, but I actually threw away the book and then I waited to be fired. And the craziest thing that happened is they didn't even notice I threw away the book.

    I just didn't notice. So thank you for not noticing.

    But one thing that they did notice is that I also brought in what I called peer to peer learning. Project-based peer to peer learning. That was not popular in the 1980s. As a matter of fact, that didn't exist in the 1980s. And so they got very upset.

    They said, your classes are too noisy. Kids should not be talking to each other. You know, if you can't straighten this out, well, we're going to have to fire you. So I was a little shocked, but my husband said, well, if they fire you, it's no problem. You go work somewhere else. No problem.

    But what I decided to do was to tell my class, and I said to the students, by the way, we can't continue this way. Whenever somebody from the administration, the principal, the vice principal come into the class. I want you to stop, do nothing and just sit at your desk and read a book or something. Don't talk.

    And they're like, why? And I told him why I told him like, I'm going to be fired if you don't do that. If you still want this teacher, then you're going to have to work together with me. Worked like a charm. The kids were like little mice, not a sound in the class.

    So I passed. I was very grateful.

    And then after that I got tenure and once you get tenure, it's very hard to fire a teacher. And so then I changed my whole system to student directed, project-based learning. That really was very effective.

    Ling Yah: What does that mean?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, what it means is that the teacher might explain something and then you let the kids talk about what it was that you just explained, and then you let them also have some kind of project connected with what you explained.

    So for example, I would explain like how to write a news story and give a lot of tips for doing that then. Next step is you talk to your group. There's a little group. What did you hear? What kind of information is important? How did you write a news story? And then the group came up with topics of their own, what they wanted to write a news story about.

    The project is they wrote a new story and I actually gave them subjects to write about or topics to write about, but as they became more advanced, they could find their own topics. Finding out what to write about is one of the challenges and being able to interview people and get the information is also one of the challenges.

    So they learned how to do that really well. And they learned to do it by doing it, not by reading a book about it. They loved it so much they told their friends and then my classes grew, they doubled in size the next year, all their friends decided to take it.

    And it doubled again the following year. And within the next 10 years, I had a hundred kids in the class and this was too many. I mean, I started some more publications. So if you read the book, you'll see that there's a story of all the publications. I started with 1 19 84. By the year 1999, I started another publication. And then every two years after that, another publication. So today, there are 10 publications and over 700 kids in the program and five media arts teachers.

    Ling Yah: Isn't it the largest journalism program in the states right now?

    Esther Wojcicki: It's the largest journalism program in the states. It's larger than any university. It's huge.

    Ling Yah: I love that. You know, you said that in the publications, the students decide for themselves what to write. And it looks professional. It looks like any other professional newspaper out there.

    Esther Wojcicki: Yes, that's right. The students love the fact that they can write about whatever it is they want to write about.

    And it's a group effort. The newspapers are fantastic. Newspapers, magazines, they're beautiful. And they can see them if they go online. There's one called I S S U u.com issue. And that is probably the place where you can see all the publications or go to Palo Alto, high school and Palo Alto, high school journalism.

    And there's a link to all the publications on Palo Alto, high school That's probably the easiest way to get it.

    Ling Yah: And wasn't in the fall of 1987, I've read in your book that that's when you got seven free Macintosh. What was that story and how did it change?

    Esther Wojcicki: As you know, when I first started in 1984, we were publishing on a typewriter and I don't know if you've ever typed on a typewriter, but most of the time you make a mistake.

    And then if you make a mistake, it's a big problem. You have to erase it. Or the, We had all these different techniques for eliminating mistakes We didn't learn how to network them together. They had just opened up this store in Palo Alto called Fry's electronics. I was able to take the kids.

    I would take large groups, kids, maybe 20 of them shopping. And we would go and look at all the equipment that apple had in the store with IBM, had in the store, all the different computers that were in the store. We learned a lot by going shopping. Can you believe teacher and all the students going shopping, that was pretty exciting.

    And then I used it to publish the newspaper. It was incredible.

    Ling Yah: I love that you would bring your students in and just share the fact that you didn't know these things. And I imagine a lot of teachers, the reasons why they don't admit that is because, oh, I might not be respected because I'm no longer the authority, but it seems like the exact opposite has happened in this case.

    Esther Wojcicki: The exact opposite has happened, right? The fact that I admitted that I didn't know something, it gave them also the freedom to admit when they didn't know something, because if the teacher does it, that they do it as well. And so then you can learn together, which is basically what we did, we learned together.

    We use this program with these floppy disks that had limited space. We had to figure out how to adjust those discs so that it could save the paper in the way that we wanted to save it. We learned a lot, but they taught me. I taught them occasionally, you know, it was incredible.

    And so this was 1987. By nine, 10. I think it was 92, 93, whenever the middle of the nineties, Steve Jobs heard about it and came in and he pulled his oldest daughter, Lisa out of private school to put her in the program.

    He would sit in the class and watch what I was doing. And I never figured out what he wanted to find out.

    But in retrospect, I think he was just watching how the kids were using the computers. It was very interesting. He was very helpful to me. He was super nice. I know there's a lot of books out there that say he was difficult and hard to work with, but I never saw Steve Jobs like that. Never. He was always incredibly helpful and nice to me.

    One thing I always appreciated was he was very direct. He told you what he liked and he didn't like, there were no playing games, or, no clouds. He told you, I found that very refreshing.

    Ling Yah: Is there a particular memory you have of Steve jobs and just the way he might have impacted you?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, I have a lot of memories of him, but one of the best ones of course is that, he would come in and he would like say, if you ever need anything, just call me and I'll get it for you, whatever you need. And so I would, sometimes I did call them up and they put me through right away.

    It was shocking. Whatever it was I need, he sent it to me the next day.

    I mean, he was incredibly generous. So you know, he really liked teachers. I think that was part of it. I liked talking to him about, philosophy and about life. You know, He was a Buddhist and I thought that was also very interesting.

    It was never dull. Let's put it that way. Never.

    Ling Yah: So in your parenting and your teaching you know, all that you incorporated into this book, which I loved by the way, called "How to Raise a Successful Person", it took you a year and a half to write that book.

    In that process that you discover anything surprising about yourself?

    Esther Wojcicki: You know, when you write a book and you're going back in time and thinking about how you were back then, just the reflection part makes a big difference. And I think that was really, really important for me to see, you know, how I've grown and changed as a result of everything that I did. It also gave me an opportunity to go back and take a look at what I did with my daughters and how I parent it. And I just remember when I told my daughters, I was writing a book about it. They're like, oh mom, don't tell me you're writing a book about how you brought us up.

    And I said, "Yeah. Would you like to write the introduction?" And they're like, no. And I said, are you sure. Then first I think it was Anne said, yes, I'll write it. And then Janet's like, I can't be left out. And then Susan said the same thing.

    Then they'll start fighting with each other about who's going to write it and how we're going to write it and all that stuff. The introduction is there and it's very funny. I learned a lot about that too.

    Ling Yah: Yeah. I love that in the forward they wrote that when we learned that our mother's going to write this, we have to go back to our journals to find our own notes, as well as what happened when we were little kids.

    Esther Wojcicki: That's right. They all had journals. I made them write every day in their little journals

    That was also another thing I just came up with on my own.

    Ling Yah: So we can't talk about the book without first defining what is successful. I wonder if you could share what your thoughts are on that?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, a lot of people ask me that. For many people's successes, you know, having a lot of money.

    And so I'm leaving that out of my definition because I think that maybe you're successful in one area, but that doesn't mean you're successful in life because I've seen a lot of very wealthy people who are very unhappy. And as people become wealthier, they somehow think that they know more than the average person that they're special.

    And I think this characteristic doesn't do them any good. And that So From my perspective, and even as a young mother with um, my children not having a career, not knowing what they were doing success is really feeling that you're supported in achieving your dreams.

    So a lot of conflict comes for teenagers between what they want to do with their lives and what their parents want them to do in their lives. And the parent usually has an unfulfilled desire that they did not achieve that they want their child to do. And that's where the conflict comes because children frequently don't want to do that.

    so my idea of success is that that child feels supported in doing whatever it is they wanted to do. And whether that's being an artist or whether that's being an actor or a mathematician or computer scientist, or a doctor.

    Ling Yah: And so the entire book's around the TRICK methodology. Could you share about that?

    Esther Wojcicki: So the TRICK methodology this is what leads to success as far as I'm concerned. Leads to you believing in yourself. And believing in yourself is probably the most important gift that your parents can give to you, that you believe that you can do it, whatever it is.

    Trick is the acronym that I developed to help people remember what I thought was the most important thing in any relationship, but especially parenting, in the classroom and also in the corporate world between a manager and the employees. TRICK stands for trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness.

    My theory is that you can't do anything. There is no relationship without trust, And if you trust and respect someone, that means that you can give them a lot of independence to do things that you collaborate with them. You don't just dictate and tell him what I want to do. and I'm going to do it.

    And you treat them with kindness. This works for parents, teachers, managers, and this is what I did with my daughters. I taught them early what to do and let them do it. I trusted them to do it. I respected them by listening to them when they wanted to tell me something.

    Most people don't listen. you know, I don't want to criticize teachers but when a student wants to talk to you and you don't have time to talk to them, I think that is a bad precedent and makes the student feel disrespected.

    So just listening that doesn't mean you have to do what they say. It just means giving them time to talk. I'd like to suggest it for all parents everywhere in the world, just have an opportunity to trust and respect your child and talk to them, give them some independence. You will be shocked at how effective it works.

    Ling Yah: You must have also struggled as well sometimes because children come up with the craziest ideas and you just think, well, this is going to happen. If we do this and you just let them run with it.

    Esther Wojcicki: Students do come up with the craziest ideas.

    You're absolutely right. In my classes, when the students were coming up with story ideas for the newspaper or whatever, some of those ideas would just make your hair stand on end. It's like, oh my God, what are they doing now? The most interesting thing is I didn't say anything.

    I just left that crazy idea up there and they eventually came around themselves to realize that was not a good idea.

    Ling Yah: Was it because of their peers and just talking about it?

    Esther Wojcicki: Just talking about it and figuring out that they couldn't do it or that it wasn't smart to do it or something. The thought process that went into coming up with the conclusion was so incredibly valuable for them.

    But little tiny kids do come up with some really crazy ideas. I mean, I have one of my grandchildren now who's two. Some of the ideas of things she wants to do is like, oh my God, I don't know. We can't do this. But my daughter is very understanding.

    She lets her do a lot of things. But I don't say anything because I realized this is very empowering for this child. You know, they come up with an idea, they tell you about it, we do it. And you can imagine that makes them feel good.

    I know it's hard for most parents.

    Don't do it all the time but At least listen, I think listening makes a big difference and that doesn't cost anything. You just sit there and listen, nod your head or smile.

    Ling Yah: There was this story that stood up for me, which was the story of Anne, and she graduates from Yale and she wants it to be a babysitter.

    And she even, almost turned out a job with Marcus Wallenberg. And I just wonder what was going through your head and what would you have done if she had decided I wanted to be a babysitter for the rest of my life.

    Esther Wojcicki: That was a kind of shocking experience to be honest, because she came home, you know, we just spent all this huge amount of money on her going to Yale and she majored in molecular biophysics.

    I was like, oh my God. And now you want to be a babysitter. Are you kidding? I just decided that was her life. She got to decide what you wanted to do. This went on for months and she got this offer to go to New York and she took the offer. Not because she wanted to work for the company.

    She wanted a free trip to New York. She's like, I want to go to New York and haven't been there for a while. And they're putting me up at one of these fancy hotels. Anyway, that did happen to be Marcus Wallenberg and he convinced her to work for them. And she became head of the biotech fund investor international.

    She went from babysitting to the biotech, but you know, I let her make this choice because if I wouldn't have let her do it, she would have always regretted. Not being able to do that. And I wanted her to be happy with whatever it is she's spending her life doing. And she's very happy with 23 and me.

    Ling Yah: Do you think you have intervened though if she had never taken up that offer. Would that been a part of you that think," oh, but there is this opportunity out there."

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, I did intervene a little bit. Let me tell you what. I said, there's a job fair down here at the local convention center and they're giving away free food.

    How about that? So I did, I tried to have attractive things that she might want to do to learn her out of her babysitting. She went and she did like the food. I just can't.

    Ling Yah: You must have talked to your children about what it was like being parented by you and what their views were of their childhood.

    What do they think? Do they think, oh mom, you were far too liberal and I wish you had given more structure have given me more guidance. What would your thoughts?

    Esther Wojcicki: I gave them a lot of structure. I just didn't force them to do it. So I gave him opportunities and then if they didn't want to take those opportunities, I didn't force them.

    So Anne has perfect pitch. She has incredible musical ability. Uh, She could play the piano at age five, just listening. And she decides you don't want to play the piano. She wanted to be an ice skater. And if you read in the book, you'll see, that's what she did. She ended up being an ice skater.

    One of my grandchildren he also inherited this musical capability. He's at Berkeley school of music. she was also great at ice skating. He became part of a synchronized team. That's even harder than skating by yourself.

    So, you know, I let her do what she wanted to do. And I think she learned from all those experiences. Also, they're not forcing their kids to do things either. The grandchild that is Berkeley school of music, he picked out himself decided he wanted to do that himself.

    In my family, there is a musical gene and one of my cousins, my parents from Russia one of my cousins won the Lennon prize for music . in all of Russia.

    Ling Yah: How much of your parenting style do you see in your own children's parenting style?

    Esther Wojcicki: They let their kids do the same thing. They give them opportunities. Everybody has an opportunity to speak at dinner every night. Everybody talks about what they did that day. It's called thorns and roses. You talk about the thorns, the bad things that happen, the roses, the good things and happened.

    Everybody listens to everybody. So the child that is five also gets to have everyone listen. That's very empowering. you know, They really are letting their kids do a lot of things that the kids want to do. And it worked out really well in this pandemic because the kids picked what they wanted to do and they did it.

    And they didn't suffer in the same way that a lot of other people did. Because every single one of my grandchildren took this as an opportunity to have a year-long vacation. They did all kinds of wild, crazy things. They did not sit around worrying about the learning loss.

    I'm trying to help students. Remind them that they probably learned a lot of other things that were equally valuable and probably even more valuable than memorizing information in school that you will forget after like 30 days.

    Ling Yah: So before we jump into that hat, two questions about tiger moms because being in Asia tiger moms is a reality. So one question I got from my mother was that, if I had brought out my child as a tiger mom, is there any way to remedy this so that my children would feel empowered and independent?

    Esther Wojcicki: I think that you can talk to them about it. Open discussion is the best thing, but I think it's hard because when you're a tiger mom and your child has been used to being told what to do all the time. When they get out in the world, they feel disempowered. That's one of the problems. They feel like somebody needs to be there to help them.

    I don't think I have a simple solution.

    Ling Yah: Do you feel like there are any instances where you do need to be a tiger mom? Like for instance, there is some merit if you want learn a certain subject or profession.

    Esther Wojcicki: I think there are essences when you want to be a tiger mom. And when you want to say to your child, this is definitely a better path, and this is better for you to do this than it is for you to just do some of the things that you've been thinking about.

    I did help direct my kids in school. But they asked me to do it as opposed to me telling them that was the big difference. I would wait for them to say they're having a problem. And then I would say, let me help you, as opposed to watching and saying, oh, you should take this class or take this class or do this, or do that.

    You know, Susan got into Harvard and I remember being totally shocked. I said, apply to Harvard. No problem. But then don't worry. I have an idea for where you really can go to school. I guess it never occurred to me she's going to get in.

    Ling Yah: And we've talked about COVID. You have started this new thing called TRACT. Can you share with us about what that is?

    Esther Wojcicki: So TRACT is first of all, spelled T R A C T tract. Like a housing tract dot app. And it's a way to recreate the culture of my classroom, where kids were given a lot of freedom to choose what they wanted to write about what they wanted to do.

    It was very empowering for them. And so the CEO is my former student. Ari Memar. Graduated in 2006 and we're creating learning opportunities, learning experiences for kids that are created by teenagers, kids 15 to 20 are creating learning for kids eight to 14. So it's peer to peer. It's just a little bit older peer.

    And what did you want to learn in school that you didn't get to learn. And they create learning experiences for those younger kids. It's project-based in the sense that in order to get the credits for doing it, you create a little project and you put it on a project board, it's all virtual and sometimes it isn't virtual.

    So we have cooking projects. You can cook something for your family, or you can grow a plant. That's not virtual, that's a real plant. And the reason that the younger kids like it is because it's taught by kids just a little older, it's more fun. And the other reason they like it is because it's super creative.

    We get the older kids that are in high school to create the learning paths. This is an opportunity for them to learn leadership skills because in order to be an effective leader, you need to be able to teach. And so this gives teaching opportunities to these kids.

    They become famous. So that's what I'm doing with TRACK and any teacher, anywhere in the world who wants to use it, can use it for free. All they have to do is go to teach.track.app and type in the code. W O J the first three letters of my name, Woj, and it's free for classrooms for students all over the world, but it is an English, I'm sorry to say right now.

    Eventually we hope to have it in all these different languages where you would have then kids in Malaysia for example, speaking the native language, being able to then teach younger kids in Malaysia. That's my goal. Can we empower the teenagers and then make learning fun for younger kids?

    Ling Yah: So if there are any teams in Malaysia listening, you'd be open to them, collaborating and creating lessons.

    Esther Wojcicki: Yes. Any teenagers in Malaysia are welcome and they just go to create.track.app. The first two levels, beginner, intermediate, we help train you.

    And if you reach the advanced level, we actually pay you. So yes.

    We're trying to train leaders for the 21st century kids that have belief in themselves and also bring joy back to the classroom of the younger kids.

    Ling Yah: And what is it been like for the teaching to be virtual? Cause that's the thing that people are struggling with in COVID right.

    There's all kids sitting in front of a screen. I can't concentrate the collaboration in person. Isn't that? How has it been like for TRACT?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, it's been easier because the projects are small and they're fun and they can join little clubs where they're together with other kids who are interested in the same thing, and then they can talk to them online.

    It's kind of like gaming. In gaming, kids are competing with other kids and they can talk to other kids. So we try to bring that gaming element and also so that they can collaborate. I mean, the main reason kids wanted to play roadblocks was not because they like playing roadblocks, but they like being with other kids that are playing robots.

    That's the key, it's the kids. So that's what we're trying to do the same thing with TRACT. Kids playing with kids.

    Ling Yah: Has there been any surprising revelations for you in doing TRACT in this season?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, I think the most surprising thing for me has been how much the teachers like it.

    The fact that teachers really liked it. And I think it's because they see their students being engaged and happy and learning and they don't have to do a lot of preparation. All they have to do is give the student the URL, track.app and then let them do it. There's no professional development required.

    It's kind of like, is there professional development required for using YouTube? No. So it's the same thing. The teachers also get a report of what all the students are doing. They really liked that.

    Ling Yah: And you've been in education for five decades. I wonder in your experience have you seen the types of students coming through change over these decades?

    Esther Wojcicki: Can you believe I've been teaching that long? Incredible. Yes. The students have changed dramatically. The 1970s, 1980s kids were more fearful of the teacher and the parents will always do what the teacher says.

    Today, that is not the case.

    The teacher is seen as a leader, but is not seen as an authority. Things have changed for the teacher. And also the other thing, major thing that has changed students now are so much more sophisticated. And I think it's the impact of the internet.

    And I don't know whether this is good or bad, but this is just life.

    Ling Yah: I love the idea of trick. And I wonder in your opinion, what are the major challenges in allowing TRICK to really penetrate all the classrooms around the world?

    Esther Wojcicki: I think if we want students that are gonna learn, know how to collaborate really well, be creative, think critically and communicate effectively, those four things we have to stop direct teaching top-down. We have to stop putting the teacher in a position of lecture and students in the pick position of taking notes and memorizing. You don't learn to be creative by memorizing. You don't learn to communicate by sitting quietly in a row next to another student.

    We need creativity to solve the problems of the world. We need people to work in groups, not individually. They need to learn to communicate effectively. We need to allow that to happen in the classroom. The habits they established when they're young are the habits that they continue to have as they become adults.

    So being creative and being able to believe in your creative skills have to start early. And so that's where TRACT fits into.

    I say it belongs in 20% time. 20% of the time give kids an opportunity to be creative and work on things that they want to work on by themselves or in groups with other kids. They'll have an opportunity to think.

    So for all the parents in Malaysia, it's okay for your kid to do some things on their own independently. How about just 20% of the time?

    80% you can still control everything. 20% let them think. Let them develop some skills where they're going to be able to be innovative, creative, communicate with their friends and be critical thinkers. That's what I hope.

    Ling Yah: And the 20% applies not just to kids but for grown-ups as well.

    Esther Wojcicki: Google had the 20% time. So it's not clear who thought of it first, Google or me, but it doesn't really matter. All I can say is that it works. We would not have Gmail today without 20% time. A lot of the really innovative projects came out of 20% time at Google.

    And so who's to say that your child won't be able to create something incredible in their 20% time. Now Let's give them an opportunity. I think it would make a big difference to the world and to everyone and to you, the parents.

    Ling Yah: On that positive note.

    I would love to wrap up this interview with questions I always end with.

    So the first one is this. Do you feel like you have found your WHY?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, in my particular case, I feel like I have found my WHY. I feel really blessed that I'm able to spend my time helping people as a teacher and now as a parenting coach and just as a life coach, how to get along in the world in a more effective way. And that's why I still keep working because I'm so happy with it, happy doing it.

    I would say to people who are not doing anything or just sitting on a beach or going out to dinner or whatever, you might want to think about what you can do to help the world be a better place. You will be happier. And the world will also be happier.

    Ling Yah: I was shocked by your birth date cause I thought, surely you must be 50 or 60, ... so much energy.

    Esther Wojcicki: People can't believe it. It's absolutely true. My birth date is correct. I think I am really energetic, but that's because I'm excited about what I'm doing. Makes a big difference.

    Ling Yah: And what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

    Esther Wojcicki: I think the legacy is encapsulated a lot in my book. It's really the TRICK legacy. Can we all learn as human beings? To treat each other in a much more respectful, trusting way where we collaborate and not just dictate and kindness.

    Kindness makes a huge difference in the world. And if we can be kind to each other, we, the person who's kind, profits and the one receiving the kindness profits.

    So that's my legacy: TRICK

    Ling Yah: We've talked a lot about success. So what'd you think are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    Esther Wojcicki: I would say that to be as a successful person, the most important quality is again, being happy in your own skin. Being able to say that you have done something with this short period of time we have on earth to make the lives of other people better.

    That would also include your family, your relatives, your friends.

    For example, with my daughter, Anne 23andme is revolutionary. And so it's incredible that she's doing that. And that's her legacy. Susan is the one that found YouTube.

    And she's the one that bought YouTube for Google and leading YouTube. Now that's just an incredible, incredible situation. And just think about what YouTube does. It democratizes videos. It democratizes the whole movie industry. Before YouTube, the only way to get anything into the movies was to go through a movie controller industry, Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

    Now it's open to the world. I'm very proud of them. And my daughter, Janet, she does a great job working with young people, mothers on the obesity epidemic. That's a real problem. It's worldwide. It's all comes from junk food, by the way, don't eat junk food. Don't eat sugar.

    Ling Yah: I'm sure every parent would love to have daughters like yourself.

    And one of the things that came up all the time was the fact that COVID has really impacted the way that our children's being raised. Some of them have never seen people beyond their own family out of necessity. So the question I got from a lot of people were, how do you foster that same independence in a child post COVID.

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, I think the way you do it with anybody is you teach them in little steps. So you have to break down the learning into its little component parts and give them an opportunity to do little bits independently on their own. It's just like you can't throw someone in a pool and tell them to swim.

    You have to teach them how to do it in little bits, but that's what teaching is all about. Really good teachers break the learning down into bite sizes. And then that builds up to a bigger picture. And that's what I would suggest.

    Ling Yah: And where can people go to connect with you and find out more about what you're doing?

    Esther Wojcicki: Well, follow me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. I have a website. I have one called raise successful people.com another one that is Esther Woj. E S T H E R W O J.net. And then of course TRACT. If they want to connect with me, they can go to info@tract.app.

    Ling Yah: And I'll put all the links are in the show notes. Is there anything else you'd like to share that we haven't covered so far?

    Esther Wojcicki: I should just say there's couple of other programs that I'm involved in that I forgot to talk about. One of them is at the university of California, Berkeley, and with the school of engineering. It's called W O J I T, Wojit. It's like, instead of going to four years of college, you can go to 18 months of this program, get a Berkeley certificate and be hired an engineering. Engineering degree.

    I'm trying to impact the educational world and give people as much of an opportunity to do something, to make their lives better and make the world better.

    Ling Yah: And that was the end of episode 64. The show notes and transcript can be found at www.sothisismywhy.com/64 alongside a link to subscribe to the weekly newsletter for this podcast.

    And stay tuned for next Sunday, because we'll be meeting the global head of AI ethics and regulation.

    We would dive deep into all things, artificial intelligence, specifically, algorithms that you can find new referral systems that the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram use. How their nudges can manipulate our behavior and thinking, and why the youth of today feel disempowered despite all the online platforms down there available to them.

    Want to learn more?

    See you next Sunday.

    Do you want exclusive, weekly updates on new STIMY episodes & a chance to submit your questions for upcoming guests? Sign up now!

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