Coach Spotlight: Marcela Joy

Listening to connect

Marcela sees their role as an InsideTrack coach as a bridge between the learner and the school they attend. They cite curiosity as a must-have to be a coach. And we’re not sure if their kids know it or not, but Marcela has been able to use coaching techniques with their teenagers. Meet Marcela Joy, a success coach who works with both traditional students and adult learners, primarily to help them access and progress in school.

When they’re talking with learners, Marcela loves asking “one more” question. They have been doing this long enough that they know there’s often more to uncover in the student’s experience — something they didn’t initially share that might provide a key piece of information that can be used to help them. “It doesn’t have to be an enormous step for the learner,” they say, “but to uncover just one more action that will be empowering for them to complete” can really move things forward.

In the way that work informs life, Marcela finds that since working at InsideTrack they have been able to implement coaching techniques with their own teenagers. They ask more questions and really listen to the strategies they’re considering to accomplish a goal, rather than defaulting to telling them what to do. This same “momma bear” instinct is evident in their coaching as well. “On my team, I’m known for being a fierce advocate for my learners… in a warm way. If my learners need something, you’ll know,” they say with a smile.

For Marcela, part of supporting learners includes helping schools understand what the learners need and what challenges or barriers they face. Something clicked about the importance of coaching for Marcela when they started working with learners in a new program. The program needed the insight, feedback and structures that coaches who were working directly with the students could provide.

Marcela relishes the opportunity to work with learners who don’t always know how to navigate or advocate for themselves. “In the case of someone who speaks English as a second language, there are literal messages and cultural messages. Helping them self-advocate — plus helping the institution understand these needs — really fires me up.”

“Be curious. When I meet with someone, I try to set aside any preconceived notions or any of my own personal biases and come to the meeting as someone who is truly curious.”
— Marcela Joy, Success Coach, InsideTrack


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