Sandra McLeod Humphrey dreamed of being a dancer when she was younger. She took ballet but eventually made a career as a psychologist. Humphrey retired after 31 years in the field and started talking to students in schools.
One thing about those talks stuck in her mind, though. While she had dreamed of being a dancer, the kids she spoke to didn’t have dreams of their own.
“I just could not get over how many kids had just given up,” said Humphrey, who lives in Minnetonka near the Hopkins and St. Louis Park border.
That was the catalyst for two of Humphrey’s books—Dare To Dream!: 25 Extraordinary Lives and They Stood Alone!: 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference.
The latter book—which had its official launch just last week following a November 2011 release—profiles 25 people Humphrey chose because they didn’t conform to societal expectations. She made a point to select a range of occupations, a variety of historical periods and both sexes.
It starts with Christopher Columbus and Leonardo da Vinci and runs through Jackie Robinson and Neil Armstrong—with people like Clara Barton, Marie Curie and Albert Einstein in between.
Meanwhile, Dare to Dream! tells the story of 25 ordinary people whose drive allowed them to accomplish extraordinary feats. It includes contemporary figures, such as Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby, and historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison.
“I want these kids to know that even if they don’t fit in with the cool group, they can do great things,” she said.
Humphrey has written eight books total—all of them since she retired in 1997. While she may not be a dancer, she has no doubt she’s still living her dream.
“I discovered writing was always my dream. I just didn’t know,” Humphrey said.