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Conversations with Andrea Surova

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Surova.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
As a teenager, I wanted to be a performing musician, but in my home state of Massachusetts a profession in music is not encouraged. After college, I spent years pursuing probably a dozen different careers from psychology to medicine to yoga therapy to teaching English as a second language. After a lot of starts and stops, including two and a half weeks of premed, walking out of the LSAT, and short careers in human resources and neonatal brain research, I finally made a commitment to do what I love and hope for the best. I am now filling my days with homeschooling my children, fostering children who have been separated from their families, and writing. It’s not always easy and I have to forgive myself for not being perfect, but I’m happy because I’m not trying to be something I’m not.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has not been smooth because I have so many interests and I grew up in an environment where being a doctor or a lawyer should be the ultimate goal. The upside of my struggle is that I am better equipped to guide my children as they reconcile their artistic and academic sides. I don’t want them to finish high school let alone college without a clear idea of what they want to pursue as a career (or careers) and how to pursue it.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am in my fifth year of homeschooling my three children. We focus on the study of foreign languages, music, and world history and cultures. We are dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination, whether by attending rallies or press conferences run by civil rights activists such as Attorney Ben Crump, listening to voices other than our own even when it makes us uncomfortable, or challenging views or actions that we consider to be unjust.

My background working in neonatal ICUs in Boston and volunteering in orphanages in Russia led to my family becoming a foster family. I am most proud of how committed my children are to being the best siblings they can be to the babies in our care.

As a singer-songwriter, my biggest accomplishment is Welcome to My Thoughts, a pop-rock album I put out over a decade ago. Last year I completed my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I’m now revising my second novel and working on a portfolio of short pieces with the goal of getting published.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My advice to anyone starting out is to do what you love and don’t give up. Make that Plan A. I’m proof that doing what’s practical—working towards Plan B—doesn’t work.

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