I am a teacher at heart. In 2006, I was asked to develop and launch the first graduate advising program for National Louis University. I created a successful program, enrollment blossomed and I was part of an amazing community of educators. Unfortunately, higher education is currently facing challenging times. Last year, I had to make a decision to move forward due to a vast restructure within the institution. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and started on a new path.

In June 2011, I became very active on LinkedIn. I originally set my sight on landing a new position, but I found much more.

Relationships: I made connections with amazing people in my field. Prior to LinkedIn, I was not able to connect with people outside of my inner circle. This year, you may see me out to lunch with a principal or superintendent talking about the latest trends in education.

Leadership: I created a LinkedIn group for ESL/Bilingual educators. The group has close to 2,000 members.

Writing: I found my passion to write again and created ED News Daily. My magazine averages 10,000 unique visitors per month. Viewers consist of school districts, teachers, parents and a great amount of reputable higher education institutions.

Publishing: I found great courage in sharing my articles on LinkedIn. Many of my articles have made the front page of Linkedin Today’s Education Management section. I have been published with Reading Horizons, Chicago Now, Edudemic, and more. WeAreTeachers.com also shares my articles weekly.

Being Noticed: My writing began to affect others. In June, alongside participants such as Secretary of State Jesse White, Founder of ShareThis Tim Schigel, and CEO Stuart Aitken, Xavier University interviewed me about my life’s work and dedication in the education field. To date, this interview, part of the “American Dream Project,” is the only permanent video registration of American Dreamers.

Opportunities: In May, I was a featured educator on Edutopia. Following that opportunity, I received an invitation to participate in SlideShare’s publishing program via LinkedIn. Recently, I was invited to attend the British Council Higher Education Series, featuring education leaders from the UK and the US. As part of this conference, I was also invited to a reception at the home of the British Consul.

Helping Others: The most rewarding part of joining LinkedIn has been the ability to help others. I have done some web design, mentored, and have helped others find jobs. As a teacher at heart, the best gift one can give is to make a difference in the life of another, and I have been given this opportunity.

My Career: Today, I have a much greater sense of myself and I know where I want to go. I have rediscovered former talents, put them into action, and transformed my life.

I am forever grateful, honored, and most humbled to be part of the LinkedIn community.

Below is a Slideshare presentation I created entitled: “10 Ways LinkedIn Changed My Life In One Year”.

Editor’s Note: Do you have a success story to share? Please share your story with us. If you need more inspiration, check out our Member Stories blog series.