Yuba College Professor Bettye-Ann Stephens has been to 25 states and 35 countries, climbed mountains in Peru, gone fishing on the Amazon, and this winter she will be celebrating Christmas in Napal with her son.
Born in Marysville, Stephens has been teaching Early Childhood Education courses at Yuba College for six years. She has also worked at Butte College for 20 years, where she coordinated an infant-toddler program which was one of three in the nation and was featured on the television program 48 Hours.
But her ECE instructor hat is only one of several she has worn and continues to wear.
Stephens has worked for the State Department of Health, monitoring HIV and AIDs clients in seven northern California counties. She has also worked for the Department of Drugs and Alcohol, creating treatment programs for substance-abusing women and their children. “We’re the only country in the world where it’s not required to put on a pack of cigarettes what the ingredients are. That’s pretty scary when you stop to think that we don’t even know what’s in tobacco… Back in the good old days 40 years ago, tobacco cigarettes had tobacco in them.”
She holds lifetime teaching credentials for community colleges in psychology and early childhood education, a master’s degree in education and counseling, and a bachelor’s degree in child development. She says,”it’s important to make the child the center of your life to help their self esteem.” Stephens has a notary license and is an ordained minister, as well as a phlebotomist.
From blood work to drug work, Stephens’ resume is brimming with diverse lifetime experiences.
On top of it all, Stephens is deeply involved in Americorps on the Marysville campus. Yuba College’s Americorps Foster Youth Program pairs community volunteers with foster teenagers to mentor and help them learn life skills that will help them prepare for life after foster care. She urges anyone willing to help out to sign up with Americorps and make a difference. Children need guidance in an era so full of negative influences. “We have pills to make you skinny, we have pills to put muscles where you never had muscles before, we even have pills that are supposed to make you think smarter. We have a pill for everything.”
A single mom since 1985, Stephens has a 24-year old son and a 28-year old daughter. She describes her family as adventurous, spontaneous, willing to try anything new and exciting, and always there for each other. “It was amazing how many parents eat in front of the television set. Even if it’s a breakfast meal and they’ve got the tv on just for the noise. What’s that telling the child? That the news is more important than the health and safety of your child.”
Stephens enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, scuba diving, wine tasting, and gardening. She likes to watch comedies, anything humorous and light-hearted.
When she was a child, she taught her brother how to hang upside down from a tree, and got in trouble when she showed him how to get down by simply straightening his legs, an incident that he reminds her about to this day.
Stephens enjoys living in this area because we’re close to the ocean, close to the big city, close to the mountains and close to nature.