High schooler on laptop

Submitted by Jennifer Landis-Santos, ACC
Coaching provided to 11th and 12th grade students at Arlington High School 

Inspired by the heroes on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, a local cohort of career and wellness coaches have joined forces to provide encouragement for the community. 

We connected with the Arlington Career Center, a local public high school that serves a diverse population. Launching in November, we already have 45 coaches serving 49 high school students with a variety of abilities, backgrounds and career directions. Students are in 11th and 12th grade and range from high achievers to those struggling to stay in school. 

The challenge has been piloting the coaching program while navigating remote learning — many students are feeling disengaged, unmotivated and disconnected during the pandemic. These struggles come as they try to build resumes and fill out job and college applications, which our coaches have jumped in to help with. And while it is a challenge, many see the opportunities that come with having a coach and do everything they can to show up. Students are making time while on breaks in their part-time jobs, while taking care of their children — anything they can do to complete their sessions.

“In my first conversation with the student, she initially didn’t have her video turned on. But she turned it on halfway through the call when she warmed up to me and felt comfortable. She had good questions for me and seems open to working together, especially as she prepares for a career as an early elementary school teacher,” said one coach.

The coaches have already seen great potential in their students and are looking forward to seeing this initiative through the rest of the academic year. 

“My student is an amazing young person — clear, articulate, visionary, focused, honest. It will be a joy and an honor to serve her mission,” reported another.