Janet Rucker-Smith was born the second of three daughters in Santa Monica, California and was raised in Los Angeles. Both her mother and father were among the first generation of African Americans to graduate from college – her father with a degree in engineering and her mother who received her master’s degree in public administration/education.
Soon graduating high school, Janet entered UCLA’s freshman summer program where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English. She quickly forged her path in the corporate world’s human resources field where her most celebrated success was creating and facilitating career development workshops that guided employees through the process of self-exploration and self-assessment.
But this high-profile, high-energy career was not compatible with being the mother of three small children. And while at the same time becoming a single parent shouldering the majority of child-rearing and financial responsibilities, Janet made a drastic decision to jump off the corporate fast track and change careers.
Coming from a family of educators, it was a natural progression to become a teacher. While earning her California teaching credential, Janet joined the faculty of a local high school as an English teacher, exploring literature and the writing process with incoming freshmen and outgoing seniors.
The unexpected death of her father unearthed her 10-year disillusionment of public high school teaching. Janet resigned her position and spent the following year cathartically chronicling a bewildering, unpredictable inner pilgrimage through death, dark shadows, redemption, and rebirth. When she re-emerged, she had given birth to her first book entitled Rantings of a Screaming Soul.
Continuing to follow an inner call, Janet completed extensive training to become a certified professional evolutionary life coach. Her passion: to help people like her – people who are ready for the inner and outer transformation from self-doubt and stagnation to confidence and fulfillment.
Janet currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her family.