Meet Stacy La Duke, MA, PPS, CEP Independent College Counselor

Stacy is a Certified Educational Planner and has worked as an independent college counselor and a school counselor for the last two decades. She has helped hundreds of students and their families successfully navigate the college admissions process by finding the right fit: academically, socially/culturally, and financially. Stacy holds a Master of Arts degree in School Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Loyola Marymount University as well as a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Additionally, Stacy received the most prestigious award from Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education, Human Resources Division. As the #1 graduate student in her class, she was named “Outstanding Graduate” of the 1996-1997 graduating class. Furthermore, Stacy was invited to join the Board of Directors for Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education Alumni Association and served for 3 years before moving to Oregon in January, 2019.

Upon relocating to Bend to be near family, Stacy has volunteered her time in the Future Center at Summit High School in Bend. Stacy stays on top of current trends in college admissions and continues to attend opportunities for professional growth through credible professional organizations. She also travels extensively visiting colleges to learn about exciting programs at universities in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

She brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to the college admissions process and is excited to be part of every client’s journey.

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Schedule a free consultation today!

(310) 699-2108 c

Bend, Oregon: The Beauty of the Bubble

If there was ever a time to be thankful that I moved to Bend, Oregon, it’s now. My family and friends still live back East in NYC, New Jersey and Florida and every time I turn on the news, my heart sinks for what is happening in the world outside of our bubble. Though Oregon as a whole is struggling with COVID-19 issues, Deschutes County to be specific has been lucky thus far with the impact on our community. There are certainly people and businesses struggling during this scary time, yet the community continues to chip in and do whatever is necessary to lend a helping hand. Facebook and Instagram are flooded with locals asking for help and equally flooded with those responding to those in need. Whether it’s people offering to make grocery trips or run errands for those unable to do so, volunteers delivering food and essentials to those in need, teachers tirelessly working to connect with students who are struggling with the new online curriculum or the medical staff working round the clock, taking care of the ill and working to keeping the rest of us healthy.
Bend, OR has always proven to be a place of love, kindness and selflessness but in this time of need, you have proven that no matter how big or how fast our city grows, the core values of humanity are still very much intact. Below are just a few local stories of how the community of Bend is taking care of each other.

“You are all such beautiful people! Thank you all so much in participating in making my amazing daughters birthday special! You guys went above and beyond and she was so truly amazed with every rock she found!!…From the beautiful videos, messages and beyond overall love and kindness we can not say Thank You enough! From the bottom of our hearts and from my family to yours SPREAD THE LOVE Bless you all! Will post videos in the comments too!”

“I’m a single mom of a seriously respiratory compromised 3 (almost) year old,…but we need diapers, wipes, and laundry soap that doesn’t set his asthma off I was directed to this group and have been amazed at the love and kindness I have already seen if anyone could help I would appreciate it so much!…”
Update: Our needs have been met! Thank you so much everyone for your kindness and generosity! Stay safe everyone!

“Would anyone be willing to go to Costco for me tomorrow? I’m pregnant and due soon and don’t want to risk being out and about…My son and I are both high risk and unfortunately my partner works overnight and sleeps during the hours of operation. I can send you with money for my needs. Thank you!”
Update: need has been met by a wonderful soul! Thank you to everyone.

10 Easy Ways to Settle into Bend

© Nate Wyeth

Looking for fast ways to make connections, join the community and get involved in Bend? There are plenty of ways to get started once you move to Bend, no matter your preferred speed. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Plan a Few Trips Up to the Mountains

The slopes are famous for skiing, snowboarding, and various snow park activities – and that’s a great place to start. But if you don’t like winter sports, don’t let that stop you! Warmer months on the slopes offer chairlift rides, ziplines, rafting, disc golf and of course plenty of hiking opportunities. See Bend from new heights, and you’ll understand what makes it special!

2. Learn Which Parks Speak to You

Bend is overflowing with parks. Some are downtown leisure spots following the Deschutes River. Others are dog parks complete with playful fountains. Some are filled with towering Ponderosa trees, while others are exciting desert lookouts. Find your favorite kind of park and start spending more time there.

3. Volunteer or Join a Parks and Rec Program

Bend has a ton of volunteer options for all kinds of help, as well as a robust Parks and Rec system with plenty of programs for teaching kids, cleaning up natural preserves, and much more. Try out a few different volunteer opportunities and get to know the community better!

4. Volunteer for Local Events

There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer for local events. Big festivals like Beerfest and the seasonal festivals are always looking for people to help out in a variety of ways. It’s one of the best options for having fun while getting to know the community.

5. Experiment with Different Lunch Options

Bend is filled with incredible, highly localized food options, but it’s difficult to discover them when you have a busy schedule. One of the easiest ways is to start experimenting with your lunches. Maybe once a week or so, try ordering lunch from a place you’ve never been too – or if you work in a central location, walk down and find a food cart or restaurant spot to experiment with. Most carts and meal spots offer UberEats or Doordash, so getting your meals isn’t difficult – and you can find out what’s going on in Bend’s food scene!

6. Find a Favorite After-Work Watering Hole

Take advice from your peers, but don’t be afraid to strike out on your own! Many amazing spots in Bend – including Crux, The Lot, Spoken Moto, Jackson’s Corner and more – specialize in community-style dining or drinking with large tables where strangers can quickly become friends. Find your favorite place to grab a beer and meet new people.

7. Head to a Few Concerts

From Les Schwab summer concerts to local pub music nights, you can find bands playing anywhere in Bend. Check out music events that feature styles you enjoy and make some trips to hear them play – or get involved in the music scene yourself!

8. Look for Local Races and Adventures

Bend is packed with foot and bike racing events, so if you love the active lifestyle there are numerous opportunities to find your stride here. If racing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other groups that love to hike, bird-watch, and much more.

9. Plan Out Your Garden (or Other Growing Project)

If you have a yard space, garden or a windowsill with high ambitions, start planning what you want to grow! This gives you a great opportunity to study the climate and wildlife of Bend, find out what works best in the area, and make contacts with nurseries and growers around the city.

10. Find Your Favorite Trails

Whether you want to head up to the mountains for an all-day hike to a lake or settle for a winding walk around local landmarks, there’s a hike in Bend with your name on it. Finds some weekends to explore, and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded folk on the trails with you!

Bend’s Newest High School Named “Caldera”, Opening in Fall 2021

The Board of Directors for the Bend-La Pine School District voted unanimously last night on the name of Bend’s newest high school, Caldera, slated to open in the fall of 2021. A Spanish word for “caldron”, Caldera is a reference to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the geologic past and present of Central Oregon. The new high school is being constructed in southeast Bend and will offer 60 classrooms, a 600-seat auditorium, library, football stadium, sports fields and more.

5 Reasons Why Bend is Great for Startups

Group of young caucasian office workers meeting to discuss new ideas. Creative meeting. Teamwork and brainstorming. Men and women meet in office to plan their future working. Business concept.

If you’re looking for a place to start your own business or incubate an idea, Bend is one of the hottest cities in the U.S. for startups. A vibrant hotbed for ventures of all kinds, Bend has all of the resources that entrepreneurs need – and here’s why.

An Immense Amount of Activity for Its Size

In 2017, Bend registered more new businesses than any other city in Oregon. In 2016, Forbes called Bend “The Best Small Place for Business and Careers.” There’s a lot of other awards and recognitions to note for Bend in the past decade, but the bottom line is that it’s a top spot for entrepreneurs who want to start their own ventures.

That has huge advantages. Not only is it easier to find partners in similar situations to your business that you can work with, but Bend is also filled with resources that can help out new and small businesses. That includes impressive Venture Conferences where millions of dollars are raised annually, excellent economic forecast events, and a ton of resources for local professionals to use as they build their own startups.

Want a good example? Just head over to StartupBend and check out the many conferences and events that are available for entrepreneurs. Or you could go right to an incubator like FoundersPad, the Bend Chamber of Business or Economic Development for Central Oregon to see what business resources they offer!

A Great Tech Industry

Bend is a particularly good place for tech startups. It’s more affordable than many tech industry locales while still being very attractive for people looking to move. There’s plenty of revenue potential, and as the tech industry in Central Oregon has grown there’s also lots of healthy competition and collaboration. Bend is currently the 16th largest metro in the country for high-tech startup density, and there are plenty of good reasons for it.

Outdoor Ventures Rejoice

Mountains, deserts, rivers, lakes, forests, hiking trails, competitive biking paths, climbing and bouldering – it’s hard to find a popular outdoor activity that Bend can’t support. That means a lot of the population tends to be outdoors and active, and it makes for a great place to incubate ideas for an outdoor business or product. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to test your products and high demand for innovative new outdoor offerings – including many outdoor companies to partner with as you grow sales.

Great for Breweries – and Related Industries

This may not come as a surprise, but Bend has the highest number of breweries per capita in the country. The culture, climate and excellent water quality all come together to make it the perfect place to open a new brewery…but there’s more to it than that. The deeply ingrained beer culture and events in Bend mean there’s also a ton of room for beer-adjacent businesses – that includes food that go great with beer, beer merchandise, bars and restaurants, and many other companies that can connect to the beer industry even if they don’t brew.

An Excellent Potential Workforce

Bend is filled with young professionals who are eager to take advantage of the economic landscape. While relocating personnel is always an option, it’s also a great idea to take a look at Bend’s skilled workforce and see if your company can find the talent it needs right here – and maybe even headhunt a little from other ventures in town.