Coach Profile: Kimmy Benson, Unlocking Potential with First-Generation Students in Indiana

Kimmy, with her student Willena, on graduation day

Meet Kimmy Benson, an InsideTrack coach with over 7 years’ experience helping unlock the potential in students and institutions. Kimmy works with first-generation students in Indiana as part of a state-wide initiative to address student retention and close the achievement gap.

RAPPORT + TRUST = SUCCESS

Together, Kimmy and her students were recently given an opportunity to meet with higher education leaders to discuss the InsideTrack coaching experience and their personal and academic challenges transitioning to college. When Kimmy reached out to some of the students at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis she has coached, one student immediately replied, “of course! Kimmy, I’d do anything for you after you helped me through freshman year.”

SUPPORTING AND INSPIRING COLLEAGUES

This same admiration is shared by Kimmy’s colleagues. “When Kimmy works with a student, that student immediately feels her dedication and loyalty,” said Brad McKerihan, InsideTrack Training Manager. “They’re hers for life because they know they could go to her about anything. That level of trust and candor while maintaining a role as a professional is important for effective coaching.”

When asked what makes Kimmy’s coaching so effective, fellow InsideTrack coach Suzanne Rozendaal said, “It’s her authenticity and ability to listen. She blends optimism with a practical approach and listens carefully to each person.”

TRENDSPOTTING FOR INSTITUTIONAL SUCCESS

In addition to her expertise one-on-one with students, Kimmy excels at spotting student issues and trends, as well as supporting institutions in implementing process improvements centered on student success. “When I need to dig deeper to understand the student experience or root issues behind the data we collect, I often consult with Kimmy,” said Catherine Parkay, InsideTrack’s Research Programs Director. “She’s very skilled at getting to the root of an issue and offering realistic solutions.”

Kimmy Benson’s work at InsideTrack and specifically her work with students in Indiana serve as an example for how coaching can unlock human potential – in students, in colleagues, and in the institutions dedicated to higher education results.

“I learn so much from each student I coach,” says Kimmy. “When you’re the first one in your family to pursue a degree, it can be overwhelming, it takes courage. Sometimes my role is to help students feel a sense of belonging, to recognize their strengths and how to ask for help when they need it. The best part of my job is knowing that the students I help are going to make the world a better place.”

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