Coach Spotlight: Marcela Joy

Listening to connect

She sees her role as an InsideTrack coach as a bridge between the learner and the school they attend. She cites curiosity as a must-have to be a coach. And we’re not sure if they know it or not, but she has been able to use coaching techniques with her teenage kids. 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 she’s talking with learners, Marcela loves asking “one more” question. She has been doing this long enough that she knows 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,” she says, “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, she finds that since working at InsideTrack she has been able to implement coaching techniques with her own teenagers. She asks more questions and really listens 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 her 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,” she says 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 her when she was 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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