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Bethany Smeltzer

I consider myself as much of a local as you can get in Orange County, CA. I am the youngest of four children, with two older brothers and one older sister. I am a proud aunt to the cutest little girl who you will see in memes across my social media and blog posts.

 

We moved out here when I was two and a half years old. And then moved overseas when I was five years old and back to Orange County when I was six. 

My family is close, literally and figuratively. We are also weird. My family roots are Southern, with family in Texas and in Arkansas. 

Throughout my life, I have been very fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to travel to different countries and experience different cultures. I have been to Kenya, across Europe (however, I only remember France because of my age), Grand Cayman, and through the Panama Canal.

My senior year of high school, I found out that most of my college money was lost in one of the stock market drops. However, my parents told me that I could apply anywhere that I wanted to go.

So I chose to apply to two schools here locally, Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, CA) and Biola University (La Mirada, CA). I attended Vanguard (VU) from 2006- spring 2009 and then Biola spring 2009 to fall of 2010. I finished with my BS in Business Administration and an Emphasis in Marketing.

While in college, I had the experience of taking classes at different local junior/ community colleges and transferring courses (from a 4-year to another 4-year and from the different junior colleges).

I am proud to say that I am the only student in Biola's Marketing Department history to have graduated through the program in less than two years. Due to transferring, my graduation date should have been spring of 2011; however, financially that did not make sense to myself or my family. I was able to show my passion and tenacity which allowed me to move forward in the program in a non-traditional order in order to graduate in a year and a half in a two year program.

During my time in college, I worked at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in their Outdoor Adventure Program working with their high ropes Odyssey course (go through the course as a group verses alone). Through this experience, I learned about communication skills and a love for helping people better themselves. From there, I began volunteering with my church to work with foster youth in Orange County. Through this opportunity, I started to work with teens and seeing how so many how them just don't know what's next in life.

After I graduated, I went on to work in marketing. I worked mainly in small companies which allowed me to work in many different areas. My specialty became social media as well as business development. 

In 2012, I started to volunteer with AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) because it made a huge difference in my life and I wanted the chance to give back. Working with different teams and coaches has made a lifetime impact on me. The different trophies, medals and team photos sit on my bookshelf. I have walked through life with some of these girls, life decisions (even at young ages) and deaths of friends.

I had been in marketing for seven years when I realized that I wasn't having that personal impact that I wanted to have on people. I had started a high school internship program at the company I was working for so that high schoolers could learn about the corporate side of the medical industry but I wasn't able to help people better themselves, something was lacking.

My friends would come to me to help them to find their paths and direction for their career and that was one of my favorite things to do on my off time. So after seeking career counseling, I discovered college counseling.

I became an Independent Education Consultant (IEC) through UCI's certificate program in the spring of 2018.