Mary is a hardworking, single mom who’s going back to school to enhance her employability (names have been changed to protect confidentiality). Susan is a new college grad who is underemployed and looking for a job in her field of study. Tracy is re-entering the workforce after leaving an abusive relationship and striking out on her own. All of these women have something in common. They are all striving to make positive, sustainable change in their lives and are working toward achieving their goals. Additionally, all have been paired with a coach from Women For Change Coaching Community (W4C3) to accelerate their progress.
According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), “there are many wonderful benefits associated with professional coaching.” Individuals who work with a professional coach “can expect to experience:
- fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities,
- enhanced thinking and decision making skills,
- enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and
- increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.”
A coach won’t tell you what to do or give you all of the answers, but they will be objective, non-judgmental, an excellent listener, and help you to uncover the strategies and steps to move forward that work best for you. Unfortunately, despite the many benefits of professional coaching, it is often cost prohibitive to many who could gain the most from these benefits, especially women.
Launched in 2012, W4C3 was founded to reach out to women deprived of access to coaching services who are ready to work with a coach to affect positive change in their lives. Rev. Dr. Patricia Suggs, an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, owner of LifeJourney Coaching, LLC and past W4C3 coach believes that W4C3 is:
“a wonderful opportunity for women who couldn't otherwise afford coaching. Coaching is so essential to our development. It would be wonderful if all women, especially women who own businesses or are thinking of starting one, could have access to coaching. For women who want to do something really great with their lives, any opportunity to work in that arena is a privilege and exciting for me."
Women in the U.S. and Canada with an annual household adjusted gross income of $40,000 or less are eligible to submit an application. W4C3 utilizes only professionally trained coaches that are affiliated with the International Coach Federation or the International Association of Coaches.
The process to become a coaching client in the W4C3 program is simple. Interested women, who satisfy the basic program eligibility requirements, may apply online at the W4C3 website. Each application is reviewed and once approved, the client is notified of acceptance into the program and directed to complete an orientation and coaching registration process. One round of coaching includes 12 weekly sessions between client and coach and is available to the client for only $35. This nominal fee helps the client to feel invested in her own success. Clients are matched based on several criteria including geographic location and type of coaching requested. Because coaching sessions are delivered via phone or Skype, W4C3 coaches and clients can be located anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.
In addition to coaching sessions, W4C3 offers regular workshops at no additional charge for active clients on topics such as money management, job search, empowerment and self-esteem. Women interested in becoming a coaching client in the W4C3 program should visit www.women4changecc.org for more information.