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Many women follow a path from high school to college, marriage in their 20s, a career and then retirement in their 60s, sometimes paired with a withdrawal from public life. Not so for Gloria Cordova, longtime Los Alamos resident, who has charted her own path, and followed many of the same rites of passage, only in different decades.Her mother, Cora, was a strong believer in the power of education, perhaps all the more because she had to leave school in the 10th grade to help raise her siblings after her mother died. Cora learned to play the piano from watching her daughters at their lessons, and learned along with them in academic lessons as well. “Cora’s Kitchen Table” was the informal neighborhood school, and eventually became the title of a scholarship established in her name.“My mother always said education is something no one can take away from you,” Cordova said.However, Cordova’s father felt that college would be a waste of time for his daughters, who were likely to marry and never use their educations.He always encouraged them to study, but thought that business classes would be more useful than college prep subjects.
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