Judy Giordan’s Letter to her 10-year-old Self

Dr. Giordan started out as a Pharmacy major changed to environmental science education and eventually found her love in organic chemistry. A “serial entrepreneur”, she has been a senior executive in several Fortune 500 companies. More



Hello my little Judooze…

I know you want these air raid drills to STOP – along with diving under your desk and trying to make sense of how this form of shelter is possibly going to save your life when New York City is 2 miles away and THE BOMB will destroy a 100 mile radius instantly! But I give you credit for mentioning this to your 5th grade teacher, even though she observed that it was not a particularly helpful comment! But at least you have the courage to say you want to be a nuclear physicist to help be sure the world is a safer place! Even though you’re not quite sure exactly what nuclear physics is!

I also know it hurts you to not have many friends and be seen as a smart, “chubbie” (FAT!) teacher’s daughter who eats to try and be happy and looks at her Barbie doll as the gateway into a dreamy glamorous life you can never have!

But YOU will have a wonderful life – when YOU BUILD IT. Mommy has taught you to rely on yourself and not to expect to be given anything but rather to work hard for it, always be thankful when you do well and simply try harder when you don’t. I promise, IT IS GREAT ADVICE!!!

“Stay PROUD that you are a girl!!! Know you can DO ANYTHING (well, almost!)”

And while you’re waiting and dreaming of being more than a 10 year old fat, smart, teacher’s daughter….

· Always remember how lucky you are. You are loved…your mommy and your family are there for you. Not everybody has that!

· Don’t dislike yourself so much and feel so alone and friendless…in a few years you’ll lose a lot of weight, you’ll be asked to be the first ever girl captain of the crossing guards – because you have stood up to challenges and overcome them – and it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE and help you to believe more in yourself.

· Keep loving science, because it is really the love of your life…and will be your ticket to an amazing life and incredible opportunities – ones beyond your wildest Barbie-doll dreams!

· Stay positive about people and don’t be afraid to talk with them. Try hard not to feel left out and ignored. Mommy is right, simply stand up and explain your position, work at self-confidence, ask for help when you need it, give credit and thanks to others for their help and always help others.

· Always keep your energy and enthusiasm as high as you can…it is an important component of who you are and what you bring to the table.

· Stay PROUD that you are a girl!!! Know you can DO ANYTHING (well, almost!) And when anyone says “you’re a girl and can’t”…show them why they are wrong – not just for you but for ALL GIRLS!

· Know that you, along with everyone else on this planet deserve the best life you can build. Don’t think you are second rate and don’t deserve to do well, because if you don’t believe you are ok, how can others?

· There will be many things, people, issues, challenges in this life that will hurt, some deeply. Some that will make you question whether standing up and going on is possible, but you can and will go on. So try to learn from the challenges and do better – for your higher good and that of all others.

Hugs and kisses, Older Judy


Dr. Judy Giordan (www.jgiordan.com ) is Chair of VentureWell (www.venturewell.org) , an advising and investment group for startup university based science and engineering ventures and former VP Global R&D for PepsiCola and International Flavors and Fragrances and VP R&D for Henkel Corporation. She is the 2010 recipient of the Garvin-Olin Medal of the American Chemical Society.

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