Where Are They Now? Bethany Royer-Delong

A Florida Tech degree can mean many things: a family promise fulfilled; a diploma to match your job experience; a path to a new career or promotion. Whatever their motivation, our graduates have enjoyed many long-term benefits from their time at Florida Tech, ranked among the best universities in the nation for having a high return on investment (ROI).

In our Where Are They Now? series, we are following up with our grads to see how their Florida Tech degree has changed their lives and inspired them to reach for even greater heights.

Bethany J. Royer-DeLong, BA in Applied Psychology, Class of 2014

“Florida Tech changed everything in my life,” says the YWCA program director.

Q. What are you currently doing professionally?

I am currently the YWCA Piqua (Ohio) Program Director. I’ve been in the position for nearly two years. It is hard to capture the entirety of this position, but, in focus, I develop programs for girls, women and their families based on their needs and interests, and that reflect the mission of the YWCA: Dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Q. How has your Florida Tech degree set you up for success? Did it open doors?

Obtaining my bachelor’s degree was a long-anticipated dream. Fortunately, or unfortunately, life happens, and I did not finish my degree in my 20s. However, I am forever grateful that everything worked out as it did. Florida Tech changed everything in my life; the potential and possibilities are now endless. And now I’m working on my master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with Florida Tech!

Q. What aspects of your time at Florida Tech continue to resonate with you since graduation?

One thing that has shaped my current success is learning time management as a student with Florida Tech. I had no idea just how committed I could be, was and am. I had no idea how capable I was in managing my time until I became a student. I thought deadlines were important in the newspaper business, but as a student, it’s a whole different world.

Q. Would you recommend Florida Tech to a friend or family member?

I would recommend Florida Tech to family and friends, although, as I always told my student services representative, they viewed me as a tad crazy for going back to school in my late 30s and now in my early 40s. But here’s the thing: the saddest thing I ever heard was a family member stating they felt too old for changing their life at 30. Thirty! I can’t imagine living with that mentality.

I hope I still see possibilities in learning well into my 80s if I am so fortunate to live that long. One of my greatest influences was a first-grade teacher who was still going to school, learning new things in her senior years. Even after she retired, she and her husband both continued to attend classes. That was a huge influence on me and something I never forgot. I hope I can be of such influence!

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