As a child, my family moved a lot. My father was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. We lived in Germany, toured Europe by staying in campgrounds, returned to the United States and moved to Oregon, Oakland, Calif., Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Leaving childhood friends behind feels like your world is being torn apart. But it also forces you to be outgoing if you want to make new friends.

One of the biggest gifts of these sometimes painful childhood experiences is that I can relate to people from all over the country and from all walks of life. It also boosted my self-confidence at a young age, which had a positive effect on my entire career. Because I believe in my abilities, I don't quit when someone tells me "no."

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