Always Growing: DJ CUY*

Updated: May 23

Meet my best friend, the Peruvian bad a*s Leanee Medina Estrada!

I met Leanee our first year of high school, and we hit it off immediately. Over the years (30+ gulp), her friendship, love, and support have kept me laughing and inspired.

Leanee is a loyal and loving wife, mom of 2 boys, daughter, sister, and friend. She helps run a large school district in Northern California. She gives students and families what she provides to all the people in her life - attention, safety, equity, and a fierce determination to help them be their best. Oh, and she also happens to be the best D.J. around.

(Grab the tissues): On the day of my dad's funeral, I was standing alone in the cemetery parking lot and didn't know if I could walk any further. I felt so dazed, lost, and alone. Leanee pulled up next to me in her car and said, "get in girl, I've got you." She propped me up because that's what friends do.

As part of my "Always Growing" series (& in life, really), I like to ask questions. Here are Leanee's answers

Your word for 2022: RELEASE

Your fave drink: Just one? Haha. It depends. But if I have to pick one, Coffee (with half n half & Splenda)

What makes you push through: A feeling of "I did that" at the end. The feeling that I could have given up, I didn't, and I showed myself I could do it.

What makes you smile: So many things make me smile. Seeing my kids feel joy and happiness. Spending time with my family and close friends. The ocean, the beach, and paddleboarding. Oh…and time alone outside in a comfy chair with a glass of champagne.

The last thing you did for the first time: In December, I made posole for the first time. I've always wanted to do that & it was bomb!

*Cuy: a local Peruvian dish that dates back to the 12th century A.D., when the Incas ruled the Andes. All my friends get nicknames, and I couldn't pass this one up.

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