My Education


The Letters behind the name:

C.P.C. Certified Professional Coach, Invite Change School for Coach Training 2007-2009

B . A . Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, Western Washington University 2004-2007

L. A. C. Life Adversity Certificate, School of Hard Knocks 1976-1994

The Educational Makings of Me:

In 2009, at the age of 33, I received the title of CPC (Certified Professional Coach) upon completion of an 18-month certification program at the nationally respected Invite Change School for Coach Training. Invite Change is also accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). It was here that I found one expression of my calling. As a coach, I am able to help people to believe in their wholeness, capability, and resourcefulness so that they can create the lives they desire.

It was also at the end of 2009 that I began creating my weekly Pawsitive Affirmations newsletter and blog. Having so many magical experiences with animals on a regular basis, I feel called to share with others the uplifting and inspiring messages that they have taught and are still teaching me.

In 2008, I was accepted into a highly esteemed Graduate school wherein I planned on studying Integrative Studies of Psychology. After careful consideration, I decided to save my Graduate studies for a later date and instead, applied and was accepted into the nationally respected Invite Change School for Coach Training.

In 2007, at the age of 31, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Western Washington University. I am the first person in my family to have gone to college. I graduated with Highest Honors, Magna Cum Laude. I also received a Developing Capable Young People® Certification. I worked at a juvenile institution as a juvenile sex offender counselor, Campfire USA teaching self-reliance classes for third and fourth grade students, the capitol building for the Family Policy Council as a policy advocate, and at the White House Project as an outreach Assistant.

To quench my natural curiosity for varied life experiences, I dipped my toe into as many pools as I possibly could. Therefore, I chose to participate in the maximum number of internships as the program allowed. Through these internships I deepened my ability to release judgment and understand the complexities of behavior (especially ones that are particularly hard for many members of our society to understand). I also gained a load of respect for the intricacies within the legislative process.

In 2006, at the age of 29, I wrote my first book, Thrown to the Wolves. I had always wanted to write a book, but I had no idea that when I sat down to write, that not only would I write a memoir, but I would also begin a personal journey of healing, redemption, forgiveness, and self-love.

This is when I began truly honoring my creativity, letting go of expectations, releasing old wounds, and rallying my courage troops. I wrote for 12-14 hours a day for five weeks straight. Little did I know that the writing would be the easy part. It took another four years for me to publish my work. But, I finally did it!

In 1995, a couple of months before my 19th birthday, I moved across the country and began work as a caretaker for a man who, as a result of a freak accident, became a quadriplegic at a very young age. Through the course of our fifteen-year long relationship, I have learned so much about self-awareness, healing, growth, inner strength, and relationship in general, that I could write a book about it.

In 1994, at the age of 18, I received my Nurse’s Assistant Certification or CNA, and moved to the “big city” and worked in another private care home. From these wonderful people, I was fortunate to have learned invaluable lessons about what is important in both life and death.

In 1993, at the age of 17, I continued my work as a Nurse’s Assistant in a private care home. I provided care for four elders with dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as a young woman who was quadriplegic with Multiple Sclerosis. I was forever changed by this young woman’s indomitable spirit.

In 1992, at the age of 16, I began working as a Nurse’s Assistant in a multi-winged Senior Care Facility caring for at least 10-15 people on any given shift. I often worked in the Alzheimer’s wing; I absolutely loved and adored each and every person I cared for and excelled with this particular population of lovable people.

In 1991, at the age of 15, I worked as a bus-girl in a very upscale restaurant, Little Caesar’s making pizza (I loved the benefits there :-D ), and as a bag-girl at Safeway. These were my first experiences working for “the man.” I learned a great deal about being a team-player and the importance and value that each and every position and person contributes to a business, no matter who is getting the big bucks . . . which as you can imagine, certainly wasn’t me.

From ages 11-15, I babysat most of the neighborhood children. At this very young period in my life, I cared for newborns, children with ADD, and a plethora of other little characters. This was when I grew my nurturing skills and learned the value of hard work.

In elementary school, whenever I could I had lemonade and other juice stands. I set up shop in my driveway and had customers. This is when I fostered my ability to put myself out there and offer something to people that I was pretty sure they already had. It was also the time when I established the belief that if I really want something and I work hard at it, then I will succeed. As a side note, I’m pretty sure that this is where the idea for the Latte stand originated. :-D

Finally, from 1976-1994, I attended the School of Hard Knocks. I grew up with abuse, addiction, mental illness, abandonment, multiple divorces, sexism and gender discrimination. You name it, I probably lived it. Throughout these years, I had experiences and responsibilities far beyond my years. This was a time when I especially ripened my counseling, championing, and listening skills as my mother’s confidant and guide.

Through all of this, I was still me, just a bit more muddied that most people I knew. But, like the Lotus flower, somehow I managed to bloom into the woman I am today—despite having began deep in the wallows of the muddied earth. With the help of many friends, animals, and nature, I began to believe in my beauty. 8-)

Contact Arabella today!