Anyone who reads Your Time Now, the BoomerReviews.com blog by author and psychologist, Dr. Donna L. Friess, knows that she is a powerful force for goodness. What readers may not know is that Donna grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive home and used that horrible experience to fuel her desire for liberation through education.
“I have always been very determined and goal oriented,” Donna says. “I knew that if I kept up with my studies, I would be free someday.” Donna’s freedom came via an academic scholarship to the University of Southern California. She moved out of her family home, into a sorority house at USC and then went on to become an award-winning college professor, life coach and social activist for children’s rights. Donna’s autobiography, Cry the Darkness (HCI, 1993), has been published in seven languages.
In the past few years, Donna says she has learned that hard work indeed pays off. Named Teacher of the Year for Cypress College in 2009, Donna is listed in Who’s Who in America, Great Teachers, Who’s Who in the World, and has appeared on Oprah and other TV programs. She and her husband, Ken, a former four-term mayor, enjoy an active life in Orange County, California with their 11 grandchildren, their horses and dogs.
Donna’s favorite quote comes from the late award-winning author of Chasing Daylight, Eugene O’Kelly, former President and CEO of KPMG. In May, 2005, when O’Kelly was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and given only six weeks to live at age 53, he suddenly realized he had missed out on much of what life had to offer. O’Kelly began writing his book in the form of journaling, and he wrote, “Happiness is nothing more than stringing precious moments together.” Donna believes that’s the key to a happy life. She adds, “You must be present mentally in your own life in order to notice those precious moments.” Donna is doing just that today, and we are fortunate that she will continue to share her very special “joie de vivre” with our BoomerReviews.com community.