Local graduate back home to inspire others

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A local high school graduate who is now a bigwig at Cisco hopes to inspire other students to live their passion.

“I never had anyone come into my school or my life and say, ‘This is what you need to do.’ So I’m a vision of what it looks like to get to that next level,” says Michelle Witherspoon.

Witherspoon graduated from Smith High School in 1986 and is now a senior manager at Cisco and has headed up teams of more than 500 people. “I was extremely shy in high school. Was just overwhelmed walking down the halls. I came into my own in college.”

Witherspoon is back at her Alma mater, technically to talk about Cisco — computers and network engineering — but what she wants the students to hear is about so much more like goals, perseverance and finding and living your passion.

“It’s very important for me to advocate for these young people, especially girls. I want them to know to not limit themselves, the sky is the limit. They need to know there are so many possibilities out there, in the tech world and in life.”

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