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Coaching Spotlight: Linda

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard
At USES, Coaching is integral to our holistic approach in supporting the whole family. Keep reading to hear from Linda about how Coaching has helped build her capacity and ultimately, receive an important scholarship:

My name is Linda and I am a Coaching participant at USES. Coaching has become a support system and has provided me with opportunities to progress in many areas of my life.

I grew up in Boston as the oldest of four kids; I completed my education through the Boston Public School system, as well as one year of college. Shortly after beginning school, I decided to focus on work to support my growing- family. For ten years, I worked in a non-profit and thought I would retire there; but in 2008, I was laid off. After this event, I was lost and not sure where the future would take me.

This period of uncertainty led me to try many different things. Through a training, I realized I was very interested in Human Services and started working independently as a Personal Care Attendant. As I gained more experience, I realized I was going to need a Bachelor’s degree to move ahead in a Human Services career; this is when school became a priority in my life.

Around the time I decided to go back to school, I learned about Coaching at United South End Settlements. I am always looking for programs that are going to give me personal growth, and I felt like Coaching was going to do this for me. Coaching worked by encouraging me to be in control of my life/decisions, while also giving me the tools to stay focused and make changes.

Before I entered coaching, I would turn to the internet for support. For example, I was racking up student loans to pay for my education and was looking for help with payments. Through the internet, I would find out about different loan forgiveness programs; I tried to apply for a variety of them but never qualified for assistance. This became very frustrating. Once I had access to coaching, Melody, my coach, worked with me to find resources and establish a plan to pay for my Bachelor’s degree.

One resource Melody recommended was the One Family Scholar Program – I had heard about it previously, but continuously missed the deadline to apply. There is a short time-frame to apply and the application requires a significant amount of information to be gathered. Melody and I established a plan of action to assure that we would not miss it, including continuously checking the website for the next round of enrollments. When I emailed Melody that enrollment had opened, she was just as excited as I was! We immediately got to work. Melody was my sponsor, and kept me on track to ensure that all materials and the essay were submitted prior to the due date.

I am excited to share that I was awarded the scholarship, and will no longer have to stress over school payments or take time-off due to financial pressures. I will be able to graduate without a large amount of debt/loans and start a successful career.

This accomplishment has been a big milestone in my life, and I feel proud of the work that I put towards making it happen. The support of my coach allowed me to tap into my potential, and our meetings (and emails) kept me accountable and disciplined to achieve results.

I am always recommending Coaching to my family and friends, as most people need support and guidance in some aspect of their life. I will continue my work with Melody, now focusing on my goal of obtaining a position in the field of Human Services, specifically one where I can serve as a support system for families navigating DCF, then on to my next goal of owning my own home. This process has given me the confidence to continue reaching for my dreams!

This story was featured in our December 2018 Coaching Playbook, a monthly email blast of resources and information for all USES participants & families. Click here to read the full newsletter.

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