GNA Success Stories: Alyssa Waugh

Alyssa Waugh – writer, editor, and activist

GNA CAMPUS – “Mr. Jim Carey at GNA noticed my writing talent right away in 9th grade. He always supported and encouraged me to pursue it and made me editor of the school paper. While I had always had an interest in and a talent for writing even as a kid, I look back on this as the beginning of my adult education that would lead to me studying English literature, writing, and teaching in college, and then going on to graduate school for creative writing, where I received a Master of Fine Arts degree with a 4.0 GPA.

I started teaching college-level writing classes at King’s College, Wilkes, and LCC, and creative writing workshops at Wilkes and the Back Mountain Library in Dallas. During this time I also got more involved in fighting for women’s rights—another long-held passion of mine—as I worked with colleagues to improve messaging about reporting sexual assault on campus to make victims feel safer and more protected. I also led woman-centric self-confidence projects on campus, as I noticed my smart, capable, female students inexplicably lacking the confidence of their male peers. Finally, I published a book of personal essays written by everyday superwomen about the unseen struggles we face each day and the inherent strength we all have within us. While I have stepped back a bit from my career recently, I continue speaking up against injustice and for human rights whenever possible and I work to ensure we elect local politicians who will act in the best interest of women, and all people, especially the poor and marginalized.

I am a firm believer that success isn’t all winning writing contests and awards, or promotions and high salaries. It doesn’t need to be work-related at all. You can be successful and inspirational by being kind, standing up to bullies, focusing on your own growth and happiness, and by passing on these values to your children and fellow humans. No one is perfect, and especially not when we’re young. But you’re successful as long as you work every day to be a better person than you were the day before. And it’s never too late to start.”

Alyssa Waugh, 2006