Treasure Douglass has only been a LifeStrengths Coach for a few months, but has already empowered so many youth. She shares what it’s like to be a LifeStrengths Coach and gives us an inside look at what makes our program different from a typical life coach or mentor. Treasure coaches 12 different at-risk youth and will soon be coaching several more thanks to the generosity of our donors.

“I became a life coach because I was excited for the opportunity to focus on positive youth development. Many other adults or systems at work in a youth’s life focus on what’s going wrong, Life-Strengths is different. 

We are able to focus on what strengths the youth already has, and we encourage and empower them to use those strengths to build a life they will be proud of. Even the language that we use as a coach is different. 

Many youth haven’t been told that they don’t have any strengths. We are able to jump in as a coach for them and point out what great things they are already doing, and use positive language to develop some of the things they want help with. There is no judgment or pointing fingers or lecturing. Coaching is unique in that way.

During an average coaching session, my youth catch me up on what is new in their life, and we relate whatever is going on to the lessons in our Life Strengths Workbook. This could mean talking about basic life skills, relationships, identity, or emotions. Then, we decide if there is anything that the youth wants help working on, and make a plan to accomplish whatever goals the youth wants to reach. 

We currently use a hybrid coaching model and it is great! We meet virtually with our youth once per week and in-person once every 4-8 weeks. It allows for a lot of flexibility which is important as many of the youths have busy schedules with school, jobs and other extracurricular activities. 

Meeting virtually can be very helpful for those youth who may have social anxiety as well. It allows us to get to know each other pretty well before we meet in person, and makes it easier to really build trust when we finally do get to meet face-to-face. Certain youth have difficulty focusing during virtual coaching calls. For these youth, the hybrid model gives us the option to see them in-person more often. 

Many of the youth we work with live in group homes or transitional living arrangements. Because of COVID-19 some of these residential settings have placed restrictions on visitors or on youth leaving campus. 

When this happens, coaching virtually is especially helpful because it allows us to not miss a beat. I can jump on a video call with my youth and we can keep right on coaching! In order to show my youth that they are cared for, even amidst these restrictions I was able to create small care-packages for them. I called them “Spa-Day in a bag” gifts and they included; facials, aromatherapy spray, weighted eye masks, herbal tea, and of course chocolate! My youth loved them and felt really cared for.”

-Treasure Douglass

We would not exist without our wonderful coaches like Treasure. They are the heart of I Pour Life and are changing lives everyday. Thank you to everyone who supports I Pour Life and has made these stories possible. 

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