ACC Student Spotlight: Rebekah Secrest

01/19/2016

When Rebekah Secrest got tired of spinning her wheels, she decided to attend American Career College.

Except, of course, that time she went on “Wheel of Fortune” while enrolled at ACC-Los Angeles as an optical technician student.

Wheel Talk

• What were Pat and Vanna like?

"Pat and Vanna were really nice. They smiled and Pat remembered my name so of course I felt special, but they were really cool people."

• What was the best part about being on 'Wheel'?

“It was cool to meet the people I auditioned with when I went to film the show. We all kind of had a special bond. This whole week I’ve been watching people who were there the day I filmed and I’m like ‘Oh, I know them!’ It was really cool to meet everybody and all the different personalities. Everybody was really awesome.”

• Do you have any advice for future game show contestants?

“Just don’t get nervous. Have fun. Have fun and win money. That’s what you’re there to do.”

• Did anything surprise you about the show?

“The wheel is extremely heavy. It doesn’t look like it, but it is.”

“I’ve watched the show forever. Me and my grandma watch it all the time,” Secrest said. “It was funny because we were just watching one day — me, her and my son — and I told her ‘I would be so awesome on this show’ and she was like, ‘Why don’t you apply then?’”

So Secrest did just that but then promptly forgot about it. When the show’s producers contacted her a few months later about auditioning, she thought it was a scam.

“I had the email for about three days before I even told anybody,” she said laughing. “I had a great-great aunt who passed away a few years ago and she loved ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ When my family found out, they were like ‘Oh my, Aunt Addie would be so proud of you!’”

Now, less than than two months away from completing her externship and with a job waiting for her when she graduates, Aunt Addie would still probably be proud.

After completing high school, Secrest said she took "random" college courses for about a year while figuring out what she wanted to do.

“I was in another school before this where I was learning to be a personal trainer and I literally hated it so much that I could not even make myself get out of bed in the morning. So I thought about it and I reevaluated my life and I said ‘You know what, I have to find something I want to do, that I get up in the morning and I’m ready to go,’” Secrest said. “When I found out I was pregnant with my son, it really changed everything. It made me realize that not only am I going to school for me now, but I have a child to take care of, I have a life in my hands and I have to make decisions for him. That’s when I really decided to start doing everything.”

Three months after her son's birth, Secrest begain scouting schools and exploring her options. In June 2014, she said she visited ACC-Los Angeles and was excited by the atmosphere and family environment on campus. She enrolled the same day.

“You have to choose to make your life better. As long as you’re constantly unsure, you’re never going to get anywhere in life. As long as you’re questioning yourself and doubting what you can do, you’ll never know unless you try. I used to always doubt myself but I just took the first step and I am where I am today. Just get out there, just try it.”

“I spun the wheel," Secrest said, "and I did great.”

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