Meet Bela Gaytan, M.Ed.

Bela stands ourside Kasbah Aït Ben-Haddou, in the Ouarzazate province of Southern Morocco. She is a light-skinned Latina with short, black, curly hair, wearing a baggy pantsuit. She is surrounded by the sandy color of the desert and palm trees.

Image description:  Bela stands outside Kasbah Aït Ben-Haddou, in the Ouarzazate province of Southern Morocco. She is a light-skinned Latina with short, black, curly hair, wearing a baggy pantsuit. She is surrounded by a clay wall and buildings, as well as palm tress.

Well met!  I’m Bela Gaytan.  I’m delighted that you’ve landed here in my little corner of the Internet.  Whatever brought you here, allow me to tell you a bit about myself, and let’s see what kind of awesomeness we can make happen!

I’m known for being authentic, transparent, and vulnerable in my advocacy work, as well as my personal and professional life.  I always strive to leave a positive impact on all that I do. I am a champion for equality and actively advocate and volunteer for marginalized populations and support others doing the same.

  • As a learning experience designer, I passionately empower learners to succeed.
  • As a web developer, I transform the ordinary into something uniquely beautiful.
  • As an advocate, I elevate marginalized voices and fight for our visibility.

I grew up in the North, have lived in the South for some time now, and soon am moving out West.  I’ve worked in customer service, healthcare, human resources, and now in education and technology.  I’m obsessed with learning and bettering myself in any way I can and you’ll always find me attempting to learn some new skill.

I have two amazing kids that mean the absolute world to me.  I know everyone says that about their offspring, but mine are pretty rad!  My daughter lives in Boston and attends Boston University, pursuing her Master’s of Fine Arts in Film and Television Studies.  My son lives at home and is in community college, working towards a degree in Athletic Training.  I also have two cats, my indoor “daughter” Liylu and a feral cat turned “porch-kitty” named Ash-hole.  Bonus nerd points if you can figure out where the name Liylu comes from… and I’ll pat myself on the back if I made you laugh out loud imagining me calling out the second cat’s name. 

My Qualifications

Instead of simply sharing a logo of my alma mater or our beloved mascot, Sage the Night Owl, I thought I’d share my happy face as I achieved my goals of being a first-generation college graduate and the first in my immediate family to obtain a graduate degree!

Bela stands outside with a lush forest behind her. She is wearing a blue and white dress, smiling proudly, and holding her Bachelor's degree in hand.

Image description:  Bela stands outside with a lush forest behind her. She is wearing a blue and white dress, smiling proudly, and holding her Bachelor’s degree in hand.

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Bachelor of Science
Business – Human Resource Management

Western Governors University
September 2019

Bela is a Latina with short, black, curly hair with a large, colorful dragon tattoo on her right arm. She is out in nature with a forest behind her. She is wearing a black, traditional, Mexican, short-sleeved dress with bright, multicolored flowers. She has a large gold piercing in her nose, with gold hoops and carved antler studs in her ears. She's wearing a gold necklace with the birthstones of her and her children by Etsy, and another with a crescent moon and "chingona" (Spanish for a "badass woman") by Chingona. She is smiling proudly and holding her framed Master's degree.⁣⁣⁣

Image description:  Bela stands outside with a lush forest behind her. She is wearing a black Mexican floral dress, smiling proudly,  and holding her Master’s degree in hand.

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Master of Education
Learning and Technology

Western Governors University
April 2021

Did You Know...

  • I have explored eight countries (one for less than 24 hours, but hey – I think that still counts) on three continents, eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, and one disputed territory surrounded by hidden land mines.
  • I was chosen to participate in Grow With Google’s Developer Challenge and went on as one of the top performers chosen to continue with their Front End Developer program.  Google Developers even featured my story of perseverance on their blog!
  • I am disabled, with several chronic and genetic conditions.   Four of my conditions are rare disorders and I’m colorblind, as well, which is very rare for a female.  I like to say that I have scientific proof that I am rare and awesome! 
  • I am a multipotentialite.  I passionately dive in to learn about topics that interest me and have a very broad skill set.  This is an asset, aiding in my creativity and ingenuity.
  • My father was a migrant worker and my mother’s family were sharecroppers.  My parents grew up working in the fields, harder than most of us have ever had to work and for much less than we would ever accept.
  • I’m a total gamer!  I mostly play World of Warcraft and Hearthstone these days.  I also dig Portal & Portal 2.  My kids are gamers, as well – especially my son.  Our home is like an arcade with PS5, PS4, PS3, PS2, XBox 360, XBox One, and XBox Series S.  My custom-built gaming computer is named after one of my WoW characters.  I’m such a nerd!
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