As a life and education coach, I get the absolute joy of working with youth in our community to set amazing goals, navigate crazy big dreams, and carve out pathways to get them where they want to go. I am constantly in awe of my clients (who are affectionately referred to as Bloomies)…their vulnerability, their authenticity, and their bravery. No one comes to my table without having a genuine interest in learning, growing, and fully engaging in the process. I wish I could have been more like them at that age.
Bloomies are often working on personal development, college application portfolios, career exploration, and connecting their strengths and passions to where they can place themselves in society. In their journey, Bloomies often seek professionals in our community to learn from in meaningful ways. Almost all of my clients are thirsty for an opportunity to learn from someone in the field for a potential career path. Connecting with someone who is willing to share their story can assist them in clarifying their goals and paths. Despite the high need and clear benefit for students, a connection with a professional in their community can be hard to find.
It’s easy to get pulled into the busy day-to-day and feel like we don’t have a minute to dedicate to anything outside our normal purview. If it is possible to pull away and connect with a student in our community, the rewards are manifold. The student is provided education they can’t retrieve from a book, but it also provides a family-supporting that student something very valuable. I always tell Bloomies that a “no” is as good as a “yes.” If they get clarity that a field is NOT what they want, they may have saved themselves and their families serious emotional and financial commitment to a wrong path. Even more so, we as professionals gain perspective on our own passions and get to learn about the concerns, and focuses on the young people around us. Students often come away from these experiences wide-eyed and full of information, families relieved that there is more direction and professionals with a renewed spirit.
Even if you aren’t a life coach, you can connect with the youth in our community in meaningful ways that will help them make great decisions about their future. Here are a few ways you can make an impact and support the young in our community:
- Provide shadow and informational interview opportunities. Students can gain so much from a professional by simply grabbing coffee and a conversation or shadowing job responsibilities. Things that they will eventually define as job values come through in those experiences in very important ways. They can get an idea of what an average day on the job looks like, what kind of atmosphere they like, how to get where they want to go, etc.
- Connect through volunteering. Almost all Bloomies engage in community service. It’s so good for them to understand community, needs outside their own, and what causes they can really get behind. Having volunteer opportunities for young people is an amazing learning opportunity all around.
- Incorporate students into your practices. One of the largest needs that students bring with them is empowerment. Most of my students come to me with a sense that they would like to find their voice. ALL of my students have something worth saying. Their perspective is invaluable and insightful. If you want to be in the know-ask young people. They have so much to add. If you have any way to allow students into your practice to advise, reflect, or teach-do it. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Dr. Molly Kreyssler is an education and life coach and the founder of Bloom Coaching, her true labor of love. Molly coaches high school and college students as well as their families on education and life choices through individual and group experiences.
Molly has a beautiful family, which includes her husband Steve and a house full of boys. Together, Molly and Steve are raising Riley (18), Carter (4), and Quin (2). Molly loves to travel, cook, garden, be with dogs of any kind, and make memories with her children.