My Story

I believe in the power of knowing & sharing stories.

I spent my childhood in Latin America, the granddaughter of expats - Argentines and Uruguayans living in Brazil, Americans living in Peru and Colombia. My father was raised overseas in many different countries, a "Third Culture Kid" (TCK) before that term was established. My parents and their families spoke many languages around the dinner table, often switching in the middle of a sentence when a better word might do. 

I migrated to one of my passport countries (the United States) partway through first grade, then moved through more than 7 schools in two states before graduating from high school in Miami, Florida. When I moved to college in a different region, the culture shock was almost like being in a foreign country. In my life, I have now lived outside and in the US for equal amounts.

As an adult TCK, I know what it's like to move countries, change schools, go to college/university in a different place, and have to learn and adapt to all the cultures influencing you. I was fortunate in my childhood, being raised by cross-cultural adults who shared that lived experience. Now, I'm parenting two CCK (cross-cultural kid) sons. I am personally invested in helping cross-cultural young people navigate the world.

I spent over 25 years as an educator, supporting international students on 4 continents, first as a high school history teacher, then as a college and social/emotional counselor. For the past dozen years in Asia, I was the Head of High School Counseling at two large international schools, where students had dozens of post-grad plans. My favorite part of being a school counselor was shepherding adolescents through their self-development journey. 

I'm honored to continue that work now, as a Certified Academic Coach. Through coaching, students learn to be their best selves. They can understand and shape their own stories. Knowing the impact that global transitions can have on identity and learning can equip young TCK/CCKs to be better prepared to enter the adult world. They can arrive and thrive. My hope is that by strengthening individuals around the world, we can build connections across continents. Our young people can build a flourishing world. 

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My "Why?"

Memberships

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International Educational Consultants Association

Associate Member, IECA

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International Association of College Admissions Counselors

Member

Professional Development Committee Pre-Conference Institute Co-Chair

Conference Presenter

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Families in Global Transition (FIGT)

Member

International Education Affiliate, Co-Chair

Conference Presenter

Partnerships

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Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN)

Board Member

Director of Communications

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Coach Training EDU

Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

Experience

 

ACC, Coach Training EDU

MA, Educational Administration (K-12): Michigan State University

BA, History: Williams College

  • Head of High School Counseling Department, Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS),  Indonesia

  • Head of High School Counseling Department, Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), China

  • International School of Belgrade (ISB), Serbia

  • Ransom Everglades School - Miami, FL, USA

  • The Graded School - São Paulo, Brazil

Contact

70 SW Century Dr. Suite 100-408, Bend, OR, 97702  USA

E | aleka@alekabilanconsulting.org

WA | +1.541.640.9249

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