We sat down with Bright Futures’ Owner and Founder, Dr. Beth Dennard for a fun conversation and covered everything from Gen Z to breakfast tacos!
What was your college application process like?
Applied to 1 college, got in and got money and went and graduated from that college in 3 years.
What was important to you in high school?
In one word, FAITH in Jesus. I became a Christian, Jesus Freak during my junior year of high school, before that, I was struggling to stay sane and suffering from clinical depression. Besides that, I wanted to graduate early and get out of “Dodge” and after my conversion I still wanted to get out of “Dodge!”
What are some favorite pieces of advice you give to students?
You get to create your life and you have only one precious life so put your whole heart into living it NOW.
What do you like about working with Gen Zers?
Eventually they get it. They are slow to realize it’s their life (not their parents’), but when they do, they’re unstoppable!
What’s your breakfast order?
Chorizo, egg, and avocado on a homemade corn tortilla, I’m hungry!
What was your relationship like with your parents in high school?
Parents were terrible at relating to me and could not accept me. However, my grandparents accepted and loved me wholeheartedly. I somehow miraculously found adult mentors and they were the speed reading teacher and the independent study teacher. Both were awesome and super smart, unfortunately I judged them because their sons were absolute freaks, but also very smart. Was I looking in the mirror or what?
What were some of your favorite parts of college?
My Christian fellowship group and short trips around Alabama and North Florida
When did you decide your major in college?
I knew from day 1 that I would major in Psychology. I needed to understand myself/my family and I wanted to help people on their journey to understand themselves and I wanted to edify people.
How did you know it was time to go to graduate school?
I started and completed my MA as soon as I got to my first real Air Force assignment, which was in Frankfurt, Germany. It was an extension program through Ball State. U of MD had the same Counseling Psychology MA program but if I chose that one I would have to start the following semester (Fall) and I wanted to start immediately. For my PhD, I had a false start the first time I pursued my PhD because I received my acceptance letter the same week I found out I was pregnant! I went forward but when Claire was born I lost interest in my PhD and found her way more interesting and meaningful! Hey, I was a psychology major and if I could have a do over I’d major in Human Development, not Psychology. Eventually, it was the right time to return to complete my PhD when Claire was in middle school.
What is a highlight of your career?
The success stories I hear from the students and fellow professionals I have mentored. I live for others to succeed.
What was something affirming/surprising about your Birkman?
My Challenge score, which unfortunately is not included in the newest Birkman Signature Report format. I always say that the Challenge score is the key to real self-understanding.
What are your top Birkman 4 interest matches?
Social Services, Literary, Artistic, and Musical
Person (or animal) most likely to make a guest appearance in a zoom call?
My grandkids, Eliza and or Jet. Most probably Eliza though!
Anything else you think might be interesting!
If I had a do over I would have made more mistakes. Life is more interesting and more learning occurs with mistakes. God forgives all of them anyway.