Michelle Beltran grew up in Northern California where she attended elementary school and college. She has a twin sister with whom she shares a unique and special bond.
Inspired by her father, Michelle began her first career in law enforcement inside the Air Force. She traveled the U.S. and Far East in this line of work and often found herself thrust into situations requiring her to manage the authority she had been given, and the tactful handling of sensitive and stressful situations. More importantly, she dealt with human and social problems that helped her gain insight and understanding into different people, their personalities and their problems.
Michelle Beltran lived and traveled throughout South East Asia, Japan and Korea, where she met many unique people and experienced various cultures. She lived among men, women, and children who rarely had enough to eat, who struggled to find a home and clothing and had limited opportunity for personal self-advancement. This was an eye-opening, enriching experience that Michelle believes broadened her understanding of the economic, social, and political processes at work in these developing countries and the world.
From experience, Michelle knows that human beings are capable of great change. During her first career as a probation officer, Michelle’s belief in a person’s capacity for deep, permanent changes made her commit to assist those who most needed to find inspiration and purpose to transform their lives.
While a probation officer, Michelle worked tirelessly to implement the first ever K9 Narcotic Drug Detection Program at the department. The K9 Program was one of five assigned to a probation department in the state of California. The opportunity to work as Narcotic Drug K9 Handler during this same period nourished Michelle’s love of the animal spirit. She cherished the relationship with her canine partner, Kilo; a powerful connection, untouchable by spoken words.
As a woman working in predominantly male professions, there were many hurdles. On one hand, there was the ongoing battle with the average man’s instinct to be protective toward a women; and on the other hand, skepticism about a woman’s capacity to cope with the job and dangerous situations. She found that competence in the job, no matter how difficult, is not an issue of being a man or a woman, but rather an issue of courage, perseverance, and believing in oneself.