Melissa Behrends-Gelfman is a Martial Artist, a Musician, a Chief Financial Officer for Gelfware, LLC, and a Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor Trainee
The Long Path to Success becoming the CFO of Gelfware, LLC, a Civilian Krav Maga Instructor, a Pianist and a Vocalist, and a Graduate Student with a Double Major in Psychology to Become an MFT and PCC.
Melissa Behrends-Gelfman, originally from Downey, California, moved to the High Desert of California in 1989 and has resided there ever since. From the time Melissa was a young child, aged 5, she was singing in her church’s choir and up in front of people at her church. She was involved in bell choir, sign language choir, the church’s mime team and dramatic performance team. Melissa loves dance and music and performing various types of arts. At the age of 9, her grandmother got her started doing piano lessons. She would practice for hours a day and became a very proficient pianist—traveling all throughout California competing in piano competitions in which she won many trophies. She loves classical music and that is definitely her forte.
In high school—Melissa performed with her school’s show choir and traveled to many states, including: Hawaii, Florida, Utah, Missouri, and even as far as Mexico. She competed as a vocalist at Disneyland at the Golden Horseshoe, as well as Epcot Center Stage—Disneyworld. She performed with the Young Americans while doing a workshop with them. She traveled with her show choir competing with other top show choirs around the United States and did exceedingly well. After High school, Melissa came back to help the newest members of her old show choir by playing keyboards for their competitions as well as a competition at Disneyland—“Showstoppers”.
In Junior college, after high school graduation, Melissa decided to pursue her musical abilities and potential career in the music industry. She explored many different areas of electives in order to find exactly what she really wanted to do with her life. With a series of unfortunate events that had taken place, Melissa decided to change her major and entered psychology courses and found herself fascinated by the human condition. She wanted to make a difference and help impact the lives of those around her.
Melissa, once graduated with her Associates in Arts Degree, went to pursue schooling through California Baptist university. Psychology was definitely a passion of hers. She excelled in her classes and maintained A’s throughout her time at the school. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in the top 10 percent of her class.
Melissa took some time off from school and had two children and was a stay at home mother for several years. Melissa wanted to provide for her children so she thought about becoming a graphic designer from where she could work from home and still provide for her children. Childcare was not available to her at the time so staying at home and working from home offered her a wonderful opportunity. Melissa attended International Academy of Design and Technology (online based program) and delved into learning graphic design, web design, photography, adobe photoshop, adobe illustrator, etc.
Another series of events occurred and rendered Melissa to get out of a negative situation by renting a room from her Aunt and trying to get back on her feet again after a tumultuous, dangerous and abusive relationship. Melissa was starting over but she was okay with that because she knew ultimately there was a reason everything happened the way it did. She had a higher purpose.
Melissa is currently in her graduate program nearing graduation in Psychology as a Masters in Arts—Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling—are her dual emphases. Once graduated, Melissa will take time off to devote herself to the growth of her company that her and her husband started in 2013, until her youngest child is older. Then Melissa will pursue her PhD. in Neuropsychology and Research. Her Goals include: Writing self-help books, psychology books, etc., becoming a top researcher in mental health, and helping those with mental health disorders.
Melissa is now a step mother to 2 children—ages 14 and 10, and a mother to 2 children—ages 9 and 5. She is married to her best friend of 6 years. She began a new journey in 2015 as well. She dreamed of being able to protect herself and searched out Krav Maga as a self-defense system. Melissa came across Cobra Kai, located in the High Desert of California, and ended up joining. She took an instructor’s course and passed successfully and is now able to teach civilian Krav Maga. Her martial arts journey started off as a way of self-defense; whereas, now it has become an art to her. She is adding to the list of martial arts that she does, which includes: Eskrima/Kali, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing.
She is on a never-ending path of life-long learning. She is constantly evolving and adapting to circumstances around her. Her hopes are to help others find their paths. Especially those with mental health disorders. Would Melissa take back anything that has happened to her in her lifetime? No, because it has made her the person that she is today. And she’s content with that.
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- Community Service
- Volunteer Work
- Spending time with the family and close friends.
- Playing the piano
- Martial Arts including:
- Muay Thai
- Krav Maga
- San Soo
- Web Development
- Graduate School
- Higher Learning
Community Service Activities
- Involvement with “Project Focus” and San Bernardino County Probation Department(Juvenile Department) – 2000-2001
- Volunteered time with Victor Valley Domestic Violence, with Margaret Diaz and Anita Gomez. – 1997-2000
June 1996 to present
Civilian Krav Maga Instructor at Cobra Kai Gym under Integrated Combat Systems University and Ryan Spink.
April 2016 / June 2016
Moses House Ministries Thrift Store
June 1996 / February 2001
One 2 One Mentors, Inc.
1997 / 2001
San Bernardino County Probation Department
- Membership with the American Psychological Association
- Membership with American Psychological Association of Graduate Students
- Membership with California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Graduate Student in Psychology through Brandman University, Victorville, CA
36 units completed / 2013-Present / Estimated Date of Graduation: October 2017
- International Academy of design and technology
Web Design, Graphic Design, Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Quark Xpress, Adobe Powerpoint, etc. / Years 2007-2009
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology through California Baptist University, Riverside
Graduated Magna Cum Laude / 2000-2004
- Victor Valley College-- A.A. In liberal arts--1996-1999
- Apple Valley High School--Diploma--1994-1996
- Victor Valley Christian High School--Transferred to A.V.H.S.- 1992-1994
Gelfware, LLC., High Desert, CA
Chief Financial Officer and Member December 2013 – Present
Acted as Member and Chief Financial Officer. Responsible for assuring human-computer interaction, ease of use, management utilizing principles of project management human resource development, training employees and/or private contractors.
- Setting up Accounts
- Graphic and Web Design
- Training Employees and Private Contractors
- Project Management
- Human Resources
- Team Member Collaboration
- Quick Books Online
Easter Seals Southern California, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Behavior Interventionist April 2016 / June 2016
Provide Applied Behavioral Analysis Services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Collect Data and run programs, implementing interventions according to program manager, clinical supervisor and treatment team.
- Data Collection
- Behavioral Intervention
- Crisis Intervention
- Treatment Team Planning
- Session Note Updates
Victor Community Support Services, High Desert, CA
Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist February 2012- October 2013
- Provide behavioral intervention services to at-risk youth ages birth to 18. Included were youth from CFS and Probation population.
- Provide TBS (Therapeutic Behavioral services) as a TBS coach to at-risk youth.
- Provide customer service and mental health services to children and their families through WRAPAROUND program.
- Provides skills and tools that at-risk youth and their families can utilize as coping mechanisms, as well as enhance the family’s relationships, and improving communication between members of the family unit.
- Mental Health Rehabilitation
- Database Entry
- Customer Service
- Behavioral Interventions and Treatment Plan Implementation
- Work in school and Home Environments
- Crisis Intervention with Clients and Families
- Assist in the Facilitation of Anger Management Groups (ART) for At-Risk Youth
Trinity Youth and Family Services – Apple Valley, CA
Child Care Worker July 2005 / August 2006
Supervision of minors in residential treatment facility.
- Supervision of boys ages 8-16
- Logging of boys’ activities every 15 minutes in log book
- Ran groups for boys several times in one shift
- Supervised physical education for boys
- Arranged outings for boys in the community and supervised those outings
One 2 One Mentors, INC. Victorville, CA
Program Coordinator June 1996 - February 2001
Worked as a community partner and liaison for the company to find mentors for at-risk youth in the S.T.A.R. program. Implemented programs for at-risk youth both girls and boys in the community and taught life-skills classes to them. Matched girls and boys with mentors in the community in the mentoring program. Started the STAR program (A 12-week program which resulted in certification, acknowledged and recognized by the San Bernardino County Probation Department and other government agencies), which taught anger management, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, drugs and alcohol, self-esteem, etc.
- Coordinated services and implemented new curriculum for STAR program for teenagers in the High Desert, CA.
- Provided life-skills classes for at-risk youth.
- Coordinated with community resources, and acted as liaison between One 2 One and outside community agencies.
- Database Entry
- Developed Life Skills Classes for At-Risk Youth
- Public Relations
- Personally mentored dozens of young at-risk females
- Ran support groups and life skills groups