Tara Westwood

About the Westover Family

Tara Westwood

The Westover family, hailing from Clifton, Idaho, is a family of nine siblings who grew up in a unique environment. Their parents, Gene and Faye Westover, were survivalists who didn’t believe in formal education or modern medicine. The children were homeschooled and often worked in their father’s scrapyard. However, two of the Westover siblings, Kara and Tera, defied the odds and went on to achieve great success in their education and careers.

Kara Westover: From Homeschooling to Cambridge

Kara Westover, the eldest daughter of the Westover family, was homeschooled until the age of 17. Despite her lack of formal education, she was determined to attend college and pursued a degree in history at Brigham Young University. After graduating, she earned a scholarship to study at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she received her Master’s degree in intellectual history.

Kara’s academic achievements didn’t stop there. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge and is now a professor at the University of Notre Dame. She has also published several articles and a book, “American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason.”

Tera Westover: From Scrapyard to Stanford

Tera Westover, the youngest daughter of the Westover family, grew up working in her father’s scrapyard. Despite her unconventional upbringing, she was determined to pursue her education. She attended Brigham Young University and earned a degree in chemical engineering.

Tera’s academic achievements continued as she went on to earn a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University. She is now a research scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and has published several papers on renewable energy.

The Impact of Education

Kara and Tera’s success in their education and careers highlights the importance of education and the impact it can have on one’s life. Despite their lack of formal education growing up, they were able to pursue their passions and achieve great success through their determination and hard work.

The Westover family’s story also sheds light on the importance of access to education and the opportunities it can provide. Kara and Tera’s success is a testament to the power of education and the potential it holds for individuals and society as a whole.


The Westover family’s story is one of resilience, determination, and the power of education. Despite their unconventional upbringing, Kara and Tera Westover defied the odds and went on to achieve great success in their education and careers. Their story serves as an inspiration to all who face challenges and obstacles in pursuing their dreams.


Who are the Westover Family?

The Westover Family is a family from Clifton, Idaho who gained national attention after the publication of the memoir “Educated” by their daughter, Tara Westover.

What is the book “Educated” about?

“Educated” is a memoir written by Tara Westover about her upbringing in a strict, survivalist family in rural Idaho and her journey to gaining an education and ultimately leaving her family behind.

Who are Kara and Tera Westover?

Kara and Tera Westover are two of Tara Westover’s siblings who also left their family’s isolated lifestyle and went on to pursue higher education. Kara earned a PhD in history from Cambridge University and Tera earned a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Utah.

What is the significance of the Westover family’s story?

The Westover family’s story highlights the importance of education and the impact of family dynamics on individual growth and development. It also sheds light on the challenges faced by those who grow up in isolated or abusive environments and the resilience needed to overcome them.

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