How to Empower Kids and the World | Esther Wojcicki

Esther Wojcicki 2

The Godmother of Silicon Valley

Ep. 183 - Esther Wojcicki - Would you like to meet the mother of the CEO of YouTube, the founder of 23 and Me (the country’s newest self-made billionaire), and an anthropologist and epidemiologist? This fascinating woman is all of that and more! Esther leads us through her journey of life as a teacher for 30 years who kids TRUSTed, kids like Steve Jobs, while raising three amazing daughters! In addition, she is a best-selling author, and she's not done yet! She has two world-changing passion projects, Tract and WOJ.IT. In this episode, Esther describes her career as an educator and her passion for empowering kids through education and education technology. She explains the importance of trusting young people to form their success paths and empowering them to get to that path as smoothly as they can. Listen in to learn the importance of refiring after retirement to share your knowledge and skills and leave the world a better place. This is one of the most impressive women I have ever interviewed! You won't want to miss her parenting secrets!

Key Takeaways:

  • How to be successful by having distinct goals and not diverting them when life gets in the way
  • Learn how to believe and forgive yourself through the journey towards your success
  • How to trust your children to find their path to success without your interruptions
  • How to empower kids through education and technology
  • How to re-fire after retirement and share your life skills with younger generations

"As a parent, if you can help your child/children believe in him or herself, you have done them a huge favor because that is what it takes to be successful." -Esther Wojcicki

In this episode you’ll discover:

Esther explains the secret to her methods as written in her book’s acronym TRICK [1:10]

Why her daughters became successful for believing and forgiving themselves [3:59]

She talks about what her daughters and their wildly successful careers [9:58]

How she influenced Steve Jobs who once was in her class, plus the relationship they had [14:46]

How she’s using her fame to empower kids to be successful by trying things multiple times [16:30]

The EdTech idea behind the Tract app, which is an app she jointly founded in 2020 [19:37]

Esther’s work with UC Berkely through the WOJ IT project to empower engineering students [26:55]

Her efforts to empower kids and women with the skills she’s acquired in her lifetime [30:36]

She talks about her book How to Raise Successful People, plus some advice to new authors [37:55]

How she’s enjoying making a difference in the world at this stage of her life [41:45]



Esther Wojcicki is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. What do these three accomplishments have in common? They are the result of TRICK, Esther’s secret to raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. Simple lessons, but the results are radical. Esther Wojcicki is a leading American educator and journalist.

Mother of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Fulbright scholar Janet Wojcicki, and 23&Me founder Anne Wojcicki, as well as a teacher and mentor to James Franco and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Esther is widely heralded as the most successful parent and educator in the United States.  Esther offers essential lessons for raising, educating, and managing people to their highest potential. She is the author of Moonshots in Education (2014) and best seller How to Raise Successful People (May, 2019). 

She is co-founder of (2020) an innovative way to empower students by gamifying education using a peer-to-peer model. She also is working with the UC Berkeley School of Engineering on a project to teach engineering and tech using her pedagogy in multiple countries around the world. It is called WOJ IT. She has worked as a professional journalist for multiple publications and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post

She is the founder of the Journalistic Learning Initiative at the University of Oregon School of Communications and School of Education (2016) She is the founder of the Moonshots in Education Movement (MiE) that can be found at


Wojcicki was the 1990 Northern California Journalism teacher of the year and was selected as the California Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In 2009, she was awarded the Gold Key by Columbia Scholastic Press Association in recognition of her outstanding devotion to the cause of the school press.


She served on the University of California Office of the President's Curriculum Committee where she helped revise the beginning and advanced journalism curriculum for the state of California. 

Wojcicki is also on the Board of Trustees of the "Developmental Studies Center" and on the Board of Governors of the "Alliance for Excellent Education". She serves as Chairman of the Board of "Learning Matters" and is part of the Advisory Board at the THNK School of Creative Leadership. She is Chief Learning Officer for Explore Planet3, an exploration-based science platform for middle school students. She is on the board of the Newseum in Washington, D.C, and the Freedom Forum.


Esther was valedictorian of her high school class, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in English and political science. She received a secondary teaching credential at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a graduate degree at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has an advanced degree in French and French history at Paris-Sorbonne University, and both a secondary school administrative credential and an M.A. in educational technology at San Jose State University. She holds an honorary doctorate from Palo Alto University (2013) and from Rhode Island School of Design (2016).


Quartz Article

Wikipedia Esther Wojcicki


LinkedIn Esther Wojcicki

LinkedIn Tract Learning


YT Raise Successful People

Moonshots Edu

Raise Successful People

YT Mom of YouTube CEO

YT Corporate Culture Speaker, Life of a Maverick


Wendee Wechsberg

Marlene Wagman-Geller

Muriel Tillinghast


Leave a Comment to Join the Discussion!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top