By Ashley Roope
At the end of the hall of the Middle College Office sits a beautiful young lady Middle College students call their counselor, and her name is Rebekah Bartels. Bartels didn’t always foresee a career in helping students with their everyday issues; instead, she was interested in fashion.
Indeed, Bartels’ fashion sense is something very unique that catches everyone’s eye.
Wearing a fur coat with jewelry from Forever 21 and a mustard-yellow and black striped dress, leggings, and boots from Nordstrom, Bartels’ outfit is nothing out of the ordinary for her typical work day. This is just one of her favorite outfits of this week.
Family has also always influenced her decisions, from the time she was a child up to today as an adult.
“Being the middle child,” Bartels said, “I wanted to make my own pathway with my own family without following in my sister’s footsteps.”
At one point in her life, Bartels even thought about going to a Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise school in California. After taking a strength finders test, her professor Debbie Bickett said that her results were almost identical to hers and that she used to be a counselor. Bickett suggested that she do it.
After Bartels had her oldest daughter, she made her final decision to become a counselor.
“I am a mom and wanted the best of both worlds,” Bartels said. “Being a counselor allows me to be mom and also have a career, having the same benefits and schedule as the students.”
Bartels earned her master’s degree in counselling at Evangel University and got her first counseling job here with Middle College. She has been here two years now.
“I would love to go on and get a doctorate along with my Ph.D.,” Bartels said about what her future holds.
And her family back in Los Angeles is also on her mind. “Going back to California is in my five- to 10-year plan,” she said.
For now though, she’s here in Missouri happy to be herself both in fashion and in career.
“It always puts me in a good mood at work and in general, when I put on a new outfit that is flashy and not all ‘Missouri-like,’” Bartels said. “I like the way I dress because I like to stand out and wear things that you don’t see every day or everyone else in. I call this ‘Bekah’ style.”