Local Education Spotlight — Graduate Esther Cadman: After overcoming abuse, Navajo student find her way back to earn her Ph.D. See more local education news here

| November 17, 2020

Photo courtesy Northern Arizona University.

By Northern Arizona University

When she was in fourth grade, Esther Cadman’s teacher asked her a question that changed her life: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a simple question every elementary school student has been asked, but for Cadman, this question opened the door to future possibilities, which was an idea she never had before: that she could be whatever she wanted. For that 10-year-old in Albuquerque, New Mexico, living in a home with alcoholism and domestic violence, that meant earning a doctorate.

Spoiler: She defended her dissertation a few weeks ago and on Nov. 22, she will graduate, being the first in her family to earn a Ph.D.

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