How Academic Life Coaching Started

Here’s a little about my background and why I started Academic Life Coaching, my main professional work which I’m passionate and so excited about.

Often tell the students who I work with that I wish I had this kind of program when I grew up.

And I had a great high school experience. I got good grades. I was good at sports. I had a loving family. I had great friends and an awesome girlfriend. I got into a great college. In many ways I had an idyllic high school experience tucked away in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

My coal-mining ancestors couldn’t have imagined a better life for their great-great-grandson.

Yet I was also anxious much of the time and always striving for more as if there was an underlying feeling of not being or having enough.

With the over-sharing culture created by social media, young people today are under even more pressure to be, look, and act in certain ways.

Add to the mix is an education system that tries to create well-rounded students capable of achieving a multitude of varied tasks with a high degree of competence.

What I found missing in my own life and in the lives of young people I taught as a middle and high school Latin teacher was an inner sense of who I am and what’s most important to me. With so many opportunities to do what you love and to make a living at it, the way of thinking that I was raised in – if you get good grades you’ll get a good job and be happy – no longer applies.

I got good grades, and I got a good job. But I was stressed out of my mind and I realized that the same thing was happening to the generation of students I was teaching. A year after I started teaching, I found Life Coaching and started taking a course in 2004.

The coaching concepts were profound and made an incredible difference in my life. I often wondered why I didn’t find out about Life Coaching before.

I was also in the fortunate situation of being able to practice those coaching skills on students. Four years later, the result was the Academic Life Coaching Program.