My passion for coaching young people is two-fold. First, personal experience with quantum change in life, relationships, and career means I know a single choice today to change your tomorrows is a powerful place to be. Second, near a decade of formal study and research into behavior means I understand the science behind the process. Personal, professional, and social development are the keys to create the outcomes we seek. Each begins with self-exploration and self-mastery; and grows with focused work. Unfortunately, there’s no way around the work part. That’s where coaching comes in. I discovered the power of coaching through my doctoral studies as I investigated why some high-risk youth overcome the barriers to success while others do not. This research led me to coaching as a means to combat marginalization and trauma with resilience building and empowerment.
Learn the differences between coaching and therapy here.
For those who believe they're bound by their past know this: I grew up "high-risk" - in poverty, lost a 16-year-old brother and cousin to homicide by peers over drugs, a 16-year-old brother to prison, and a 16-year-old cousin to suicide. I spent my teens involved in delinquency and substance abuse that I now dedicate my life to helping other young people avoid or transition away from. At 17, I decided to figure out a better way, made drastic changes, and made it out to achieve personal, academic, and professional success that should have been beyond my reach. I know first-hand that even dramatic change is not only possible but immediately available to anyone committed to it. My life’s purpose is to use all I've learned along the way to support other young people as they identify and leverage the potential they often don’t realize they have.
In addition to private practice, I am the Founder, Director, and Faculty Member of Youth Coaching Institute, an accredited youth life coach training organization with a mission to bring evidence-based coaching to underserved youth to equip them to overcome and thrive. My tribe are the social change agents, non-conformists, and rebels striving to break stereotypes and prove it's possible to be a damn good, healthy, and successful human outside of the box. Diversity is one of our greatest strengths as social creatures if we're open to understanding one another and learning to leverage our differences strategically.
Prior to pivoting to my passion work full-time I spent 18 years successfully climbing the corporate ladder between the finance and insurance industries. My favorite experience in the corporate world was the last five years spent managing teams through times of organizational change. I got the chance to combine my passion for talent development and natural affinities for research, analysis, and knowledge-seeking to support evidence-based decision-making, mitigate stress, and enhance outcomes for my teams. As a coach, I get to support my clients as they step into their power to become who they want to be and create the life they want to live. Every day is a new opportunity to be better and do better.
Accomplishments/Life Coaching Credentials
- PhD in Psychology with a Forensic Psychology specialization
- Board Certified Coach w/Personal/Life and Career specializations
- ICF Professional Certified Coach (over 250 hours of ICF-approved coach training)
- ICF Member
- ICF Qualified Mentor Coach
- Master Certified Coach
- Certified Youth Mentor Coach/Certified Youth Leadership Coach
- MentorCoach Foundations
- Academic Life Coach
- Certified Group Coach
- Certified Laser Coach
- CE in Stress Coaching
- CE in Cognitive Behavioral Coaching
- CE in Motivational Interviewing
- CE in Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology
- CE in Acceptance and Commitment Coaching
- CE in Fundamentals of Neuroscience
- CE in Solution-Focused Interventions
- Founder, Managing Director, Lead Trainer & Mentor of Youth Coaching Institute, LLC - an ICF- and CCE-approved coach specific training organization
Philosophy and Approach
My work is grounded in contextual behavioral science and choice theory. My coaching approach is pragmatic and evidence-based. To summarize those ideas, our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are instruments that serve a purpose and contribute to our outcomes. We can create positive outcomes from the inside out through self-insight, practical strategies, and consistent, meaningful, targeted action. I coach to promote clients’ rationality, agency, and attention to knowledge and skills development relevant to their goals.
The Following Concepts Guide My Approach
- Humans share a natural drive to meet the following needs: autonomy (free will, self-direction, human agency), relatedness (belonging), competence (to be able and capable), psychological growth, well-being, and self-actualization (to achieve our fullest potential).
- Social contexts (environments and relationships) that encourage the satisfaction of these needs foster inner motivation enhancing psychological growth and well-being.
- Social contexts that stand in the way of our basic needs cultivate poor motivation, performance, and well-being.
- Humans are self-determined agents with the power to grow, change, overcome, and achieve.
- Our perception DOES create our reality. The problem there is that our perceptions are too often flawed leading to unfounded assumptions, beliefs, resulting attitudes, perspectives, motivations, and behaviors born of automatic processes that we too often allow to go on unchallenged. The beautiful thing there is that perceptions are easily adjusted with attention, time, and effort. Hence, intentional transformation is possible.
- Many of our life moments are born of self-fulfilling prophecies.
- All behavior is a result of the complex interplay of the person and the situation at the time of the behavior. Context is everything.
My Typical Audience
Most of my clients seek support in the following areas:
- Life, college, or career direction that fits
- Improving motivation, performance, and engagement in school or work
- Stress management related to school or work
- Prioritizing self-care and work/life balance
- Positive behavior change
- Enhancing approaches to parenting and family dynamics
- confidence and effectiveness
- evidence-based decision making skills
- conflict management and negotiation skills
- social and communication skills
- emotional intelligence, competency, and critical thinking skills
- leadership skills