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Christy Turlington Burns - Non-Traditional Student

How Going Back to School Can Change Your Life

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Christy Turlington Burns - Getty Images

Christy Turlington Burns at the London premiere of No Woman, No Cry

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You have likely seen Christy Turlington Burns on magazine covers, whether or not you recognize her name. She's a supermodel who has been the face of Calvin Klein, Bottego Veneta, Escada, Maybelline, and many other companies. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair, and Mirabella (nude), to name just a few.

But Turlington Burns is far more than a supermodel. She's also a non-traditional student.

At 25, she left the runway to attend New York University, where she studied comparative religion and Eastern philosophy. The year was 1994. She earned her bachelor of arts degree, graduating cum laude, in 1999.

In June 2011, Turlington Burns told More magazine, "I feel so much more fulfilled and complete in my life than I ever did."

Leaving her modeling career to go back to school opened myriad doors for Turlington Burns. Her first endeavor as an entrepreneur was the launching of nuala, a line of yoga apparel. By the fall of 1999, she had created Sundari, a luxury skin care line based on the concepts of Ayurveda, ancient Indian principles that seek to balance mind, body, and spirit.

In 2002, she published her book, Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice.

The daughter of a Salvadoran mother, Christy spent summers between college semesters working with the Salvadoran American Humanitarian Foundation, and has been passionate about supporting the culture ever since.

In 2010, she directed the documentary, No Woman, No Cry, about the dangers mothers encounter during childbirth. The movie was inspired by her own harrowing experience of hemorrhaging after the birth of her daughter.

She told More that weeks later she began to question what she had gone through. She researched the problem and discovered that postpartum hemorrhage is the No. 1 cause of death during childbirth.

She decided to do something about it, and the idea for her documentary was born.

Christy's learning isn't over yet. At 42, she is a student once again, pursuing a master's degree in public health at Columbia University.

This supermodel is proof that going back to school can change your life, opening doors to the entire world.

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