As an Academic Success Program coach with Foster Care to Success (FC2S), I am rewarded with seeing my students grow and blossom throughout their college years, while experiencing tremendous personal growth myself through these relationships. I love being a part of their academic and everyday lives as a coach, sounding board, encourager, editor, and support structure. I love seeing the world through their eyes!
This unique volunteer opportunity is in line with my education, experience, and interests through serving others. I love working with foster youth of diverse cultures who have aged out of the system, as I relate easily to this age group. My education and clinical experience are in cognitive behavioral therapy, and FC2S operates on a cognitive construct. This organization is a good fit for me because it utilizes both my natural and acquired talents and skills.
I also love being a small part of a large organization that helps thousands of students all over the country. The staff at FC2S is wonderful and amazing! All staff members provide abundant support to individual coaches with initial training, monthly coaching calls, helpful handouts, and prompt communication responses. For all the support we give to our students, the staff at FC2S provide in equal measure to their coaches. They understand that effective communication is the glue that holds these multiple relationships together.
I currently have two students, and as I have formed relationships with each of them, I am amazed at how much I learn from them. Each student has grown personally and academically throughout this program. They, in turn, keep me on my toes as a coach!
I’ve been coaching my first student for four years, ever since she started as a freshman at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She will graduate this spring, and I am so proud of her! She has overcome trauma and obstacles with stubborn persistence that has served her well as not only a coping strategy but also as a model for her life. Her positive energy is going to carry her into her next phase of life as she pursues working with kids through social work.
I’ve been working with my second student for nearly two years; she is a goal-oriented sophomore at East Texas Baptist University. Stephanie exhibited unusual dedication and drive from the beginning, punctuated with a keen perception of her individual responsibilities. These attributes enable her to set attainable goals and achieve them. The inherent danger to avoid when mentoring students like her is not to put them on autopilot!
Exceptional students still need our support.
Coaching with FC2S is a fulfilling role because we get to be a tangible part of the next generation’s future. Investing in our students helps them learn the value of investing in others throughout their lives. The students I’ve worked with, past and present, are not waiting until they are out of college to invest in the lives of others; they already are living models of this tenet.
This story was written by ASP Coach Kat Foley, MA.