About Me

Three words that describe me?
Dangerous when motivated.
I’ve always had a drive to turns dreams into goals into accomplishments. I take great pleasure in achieving and taking opportunities that come my way. There is no feeling quite like making a longtime dream come true.
I was always driven. I was bred to work hard. I grew up on eighty acres in a town that if you sneezed while driving through, you would miss. For some reason, when I was five my parents moved to this sleepy town and opened a dog kennel. I think it was the best decision of their life. For the next ten years I spent my days fishing in the pond in our massive backyard, chasing chickens and collecting eggs, rounding up cows on the four-wheeler, having many adventures with random dogs and puppies that were a staple in our home while learning the value of hard work and perseverance. It was a pretty sweet way to grow up. I’ve never really thanked my parents for providing us with such a fun lifestyle. There’s really no other way that kids should grow up then by playing on giant mounts of dirt and having chicken catching competitions. I mean if there wasn’t a fear you had ringworm or a random wild animal crossing your path once in a while, did you even really have a childhood? I thank my parents for all the awesome memories.
When I was 15 they traded in the pets for plants and opened a now thriving and successful nursery.  I was blessed with two entrepreneurial and successful role models to look up to. They taught me that success is optional. It all comes from within you. If you want to be successful and happy, you develop a plan and work hard. Or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. But, if you don’t work hard, there’s a good chance you won’t be as successful or as happy as you would like to be.
I chose to work hard. I had a drive to work hard. I got my first job at sixteen and worked two simultaneous jobs while in high school (a waitress and a cheerleading coach/gymnastics teacher). I always wanted to be doing something and I’m not going to lie, I liked the freedom that came with having money. I could buy what I wanted and I liked it. My parents and grandparents encouraged me to go to college; it was the natural next step. There weren’t many options or opportunities in my town that I felt would truly make me happy. I knew I had to leave to figure out what my life plan would be, where I would find my success and happiness in life.
I truly found happiness in college. I took an 18-credit class load each semester and multiple classes each summer. I graduated with a 3.87 from the Honor’s College of my university in just three years with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. I worked hard in school and in life.
During my college years, I accepted every opportunity that came my way. I decided I wanted to experience all that life had to offer. I never want to look back at life and think, “What if?” I wanted to know what happened because I was brave enough to try. During those three years I was involved with numerous clubs and organizations, was inducted into seven honor societies, was a member of a sorority, and was the keynote speaker and presenter at various workshops on campus. I was chosen to travel and represent my university at a few Diversity Trainings and Leadership Workshops across the country. I also had an amazing opportunity to travel to New York with the Honor’s College and shadow doctors while learning about organ transplants at Mt. Sinai Hospital. It was totally outside my realm of expertise, but I loved challenging my mind to learn about something totally new.
My first year of college, I competed in a Beauty Pageant as a joke. Well, the joke was on me because I actually won. This opportunity took me down a pageant path of winning three more pageants and placing in the Top 15 at the Miss Florida International Pageant. During that journey I fell into modeling. Over the next three years I got to shoot a lot of local print work for limousine companies, drink companies, hair designers, car companies, sunglass stores, wedding dress companies and even Marineland. I appeared in a few magazines and newspapers; I even was on the cover of a local magazine once. From there I got into Promotional Modeling and for the next two years while I completed my masters, I got to work for numerous liquor companies promoting them at big events like concerts, professional sports arenas, festivals, pretty much everywhere. I did events for five-hour energy, car companies, golf tournaments, car shows, fashion shows, commercials and had a lot of involvement with huge events.  It was so fun traveling across the state so frequently. It really allowed me to appreciate the beauty of what was around me, as well as the amazingness of sleeping in my big comfy bed.
College was definitely exciting.  Through it all though, there is one accomplishment that I am most proud of and worked the hardest for. Due to my high level of campus involvement, community/charity involvement, and academic achievement, I was one of ten students inducted into my university’s Hall of Fame. This is my greatest academic achievement thus far and an honor I cherish.
The all time best thing that happened to me in my college years is meeting my college sweetheart, Mr. Bell. He was a game changer. He motivated me and encouraged me to always do and achieve more. There were a few times I was scared to pursue a goal, he never left my side and always told me I could do it. He knew the perfect thing to say in every situation. I almost didn’t apply for the honor’s college freshman year. He encouraged me and made me believe I could do it. Who knows if any of my academic achievements would have happened without him giving me that initial push to put myself out there.
I also have to give him a big shout for always giving me the push I needed and helping me to achieve. From coming with me to photo shoots that seemed sketchy, to holding up sheets so I could quickly change on location and never peaking (yeah right), to putting up with my crazy life style, to driving me places so I could sleep or catch up on homework in the car, to helping me get the knots out of my hair from all the teasing it had been through; no matter what, he was always there. In any way that I needed him to be, he was there. He always knew what I needed, even before I did at times. I thank him for that. Most of all, I thank him for loving me unconditionally. Anyway, enough with the sappiness, we moved in together right before I graduated college and we got engaged shortly after.
 I knew it was always in my plans to continue my education. I just wasn’t sure which field was exactly right for me. I weighed my next options in my mind and took the following year off of school. In the meantime, I became heavily involved in modeling. I wanted to chase the dream just a bit longer. I knew it wasn’t practical or realistic; I just wanted to push some limits and break away from a rigid plan for a bit while I found myself.
Originally started college majoring in education, but fell in love with psychology and went that route instead. During my year of exploring my options, I found a way to combine my love of the field of education with my love of psychology; I pursued a master’s degree in School Counseling a year after I graduated college. The minute I started the program I knew I had found where I was supposed to be. I was in love with the materials and concepts, I was in love with the idea of making a wide spread impact, I immediately knew it was the career for me.
I married the man of my dreams that following summer with all my family and friends there to shower us with love and support. It was a magical evening. The honeymoon was pretty bomb too ;)
The program I was enrolled in allowed for great flexibility in my life. I continued to chase dreams in the field of promotional modeling and even did a study abroad in Poland. I took all my graduate classes online which allowed me to not miss any schoolwork or fall behind. I would wake up from 2am-3am three times a week to log on for my class lecture. It was so cool being able to leave my footprints all over a foreign country by day, yet able to log on at night and continue pursuing a future career. Being abroad was amazing and changed me in many ways. I thank my grandparents, parents and husband for making that life-changing experience possible.
When I came back to the United States, I became a TV host for a local news show because I apparently cannot sit still for more than a few days. It was really fun and I was able to practice the skills I was learning in school to counsel people as I was interviewing them. I got to travel quite a bit and experience a lot of cool events such as grand openings, theme parks, excursions and a bunch of fun adventures.
If any one is still reading, during this time I also started my internship at a K-5 Elementary School. The kids were really great. I feel in love with the field and was inspired by the counselor I was shadowing to do more to help the kids. After a year of working there, I traded in my former crazy lifestyle to fully throw myself into the career. I decided I needed to find focus in my life, to take risks and challenges but have them be working towards a common goal. I have seen so much of the world and life in my short years here, it’s time to see what I can become when I put all my energy into moving forward in life, in the same direction.   
I threw myself fully into the internship. I quit everything else. Let me tell you, it was actually a relief. My head was clearer. I was well rested for once in my life. I fully focused on the kids. I thought deeply about the issues my students face and how I could help them. Once I completely focused on that, I feel like I really took off. I had a lot of ideas for games and resources that I thought could help kids. I would talk to a student and go home thinking about what kind of game I could make to help them realize the solution to their problem. I don’t like being told what to do. If I come up with a solution to my own problem, I am much more likely to follow through. If someone else tells me what to do, it can be annoying, even if they’re right. If I don’t want that, a child definitely doesn’t want it. I knew I had to make them figure out the answers for themselves.
My supervising counselor started to notice the games and projects I made. She really encouraged me to pursue creating resources. One time when I showed her something she told me I should get it copy written. Her support was all it took for me to gain enough confidence to try hard at creating resources with the intent of opening my first business.
I earned a position as School Counselor at my very own elementary school before I even graduated from my master’s program. I was blessed to have a stress free summer due to the job security. I graduated, explored New York with my husband, and spent the majority of summer working on my resources and refining my ideas. I opened an online store for elementary school counselor resources. My first business: Mrs. Bell, The Crafty Counselor. My parents were pretty proud.
Currently, I am the only school counselor at a Prek-5 elementary school with just under 1,200 students. My job is hectic, unpredictable, thrilling, fulfilling, active, fun, rewarding and amazing. There is nothing in the world I would rather be doing. I get to hang out with different kids all day every day helping them figure out how powerful they can really be. Once they realize that, there is no telling what their minds can do.
I get to empower children.
What’s really cool is that I get to empower children everyday.
Even cooler, I get to use resources that I create in order to do it. I get to custom design the perfect materials for each student.
Even cooler than that, the resources I create that can work on more than one kid, I can put online and it can potentially help kids across the world. Now, not only am I impacting my students, but also I’m helping to impact countless others.
Now that is pretty cool. 
If you’ve read to this point; well, you’re pretty cool too.
Now you know my entire story thus far told. I don’t know where this exhilarating journey they call life is going to take me. For now, I’m just an ambitious School Counselor trying to help as many kids as possible.
That’s all for now.

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