Submitted by Dave Ray, ACC
In the 2020-21 academic year, KamPRI provided 37 coaches—all trained by ITD World—to provide pro bono coaching to approximately 70 students at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). The initiative has been running for five years. Dave Ray joined four years ago and has acted as the KamPRI program administrator in the past year.
Economically disadvantaged students tend to struggle with lack of confidence when entering one of Malaysia’s most elite universities. Coaching has helped them realize their potential and gain the confidence to move to fulfill it. Due to COVID disruption to the school schedule, they are still compiling data from the last academic year, but in the previous school year (2019-2020) more than 50 students received more than 160 coaching hours from coaches trained in an ICF-approved coach training program (via ITD World).
As one example, over the past three years Dave coached a student who came with severe physical handicaps. He coached him toward a number of multi-varied goals. Some didn’t work out as planned, but the student clearly gained confidence as he moved through his studies.
At one of our the KamPRI program launches, the student gave a testimonial to incoming students encouraging them to sign up to receive coaching. Dave says, “When I heard him relate how coaching had helped him, I was frankly astonished. Many of the accomplishments he listed, including substantially improved grades, were matters that we had rarely if ever talked about. Colleagues tried to congratulate me on doing a strong job in coaching my coachee, but I told them, ‘I never coached him on most of those goals!’”
As the student and Dave departed the event, he reflected to his wife, “It almost doesn’t make sense. I didn’t coach him toward these goals, yet he achieved substantial breakthroughs that we never talked about, and he credits coaching as having helped him do it.” Dave then realized that the coach’s 1) attention, 2) affection and 3) confidence in a coachee constitutes relational rocket fuel igniting hope and helping them achieve far more than whatever gets discussed in the coaching conversation.