When I graduated from high school in 1989, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. My undergraduate college major changed six times. During the 5 ½ years it took me to finish my Bachelor of Arts cultural diversity degree in psychology at the University of Central Florida, I also became a licensed massage therapist. Post-graduation I worked as a social worker and teacher.
A member of the first generation to grow up with MTV, in 1998 I was thrilled to be able to join the Hard Rock brand. There, I worked my way up from selling t-shirts in the Orlando cafe’s retail store to project managing concerts, grand openings, VIP parties, press conferences, biker events, art exhibits, beer festivals, holiday décor installations, and custom parade float design and construction. The projects were exciting and entertaining, and the lessons I learned from my mentors, fellow managers, and the staff I trained, supervised, and worked alongside with were many.
In 2007, I left Hard Rock to be part-time business owner and full-time mom to our then seven-year-old son, shortly after his dad and I adopted him out of foster care. During my son’s school day, I did freelance and contract work as well as volunteered with foster adoption support organizations, our church, and my son’s schools.I attended foster adoptive and other parenting trainings, wrote about our own and other foster adoptive families’ stories, and helped co-found an adoption support ministry which I am still active in. After school, I was mom, fully focused on helping our son catch up academically, socially, and emotionally. And being his mom is by far the best job I've ever had.
In 2012, I began my master’s degree. Always interested in teaching, I chose the field of instructional design since my experience with our son had given me a new level of appreciation and determination for pursuing the ideal that everyone can learn, as long as we are willing to find the means and methods to best help each individual learner. I graduated with a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Tampa in 2015.
Today, I seek to combine my professional, academic, and personal experiences into being the change I wish to see in my little corner of the world. I am most grateful when I have the opportunity to work with and for other individuals and organizations that are choosing to do the same.