The Flagler County Education Foundation, the non-profit arm for the Flagler County School District, has partnered with Flagler Schools and the United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties to create a Career Coaching Program. This program matches students in the Classroom to Careers programs with adults in the community who either currently or formerly worked in the career field the student is interested in exploring. “One of the unique things about this program is that the Career Coach and the student start out with a common interest. So, there is automatically something to talk about which makes the part of forming the relationship so much easier,” said Doug Glasco, Career Coaching Coordinator.
The program is designed as a mentoring program with curriculum for the pair to meet either eight times, 16 times, or 32 times. The Career Coach goes through a training and is given a Career Coaching Guide to help them through the process. The meetings can be anything from formally going through activities in the Career Coaching Guide to informal discussions on the college/technical school the coach attended. The program also includes career exploration field trips, “Intern for a Day” trips, career and college readiness workshops in addition to the meetings with the coach.
As soon as she heard about the program Judge Melissa Distler decided that she was going to become a Career Coach. “I have been mentoring most of my life,” said Judge Distler, “I have been involved with Take Stock in Children, act as a mentor for new judges and I was even mentoring an elementary school student when I was in high school. So, this seemed like a perfect fit for me.” Judge Distler has been matched with Caroline Rizzo, a junior at Flagler Palm Coast High School, who is interested in going into law and/or politics. The pair meet twice a month and the meetings have already been beneficial for Rizzo. Judge Distler has gotten Rizzo involved with teen court, a diversion program for teenage offenders usually without prior record. She is also helping make arrangements for Rizzo to spend a week in Tallahassee during legislative session so she can see how that side of the law works as well. “Having her guidance and connections will help me get more involved and further my desire to go into this field. She has already helped me so much and we have only been meeting for a couple of months,” said Caroline Rizzo.
The Career Coaching program is looking for more volunteers to serve as coaches. No prior educational experience is required and the program is open to any career/industry. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Doug Glasco at email@example.com or you can call the Flagler County Education Foundation at (386)437-7526.
By Rebecca Bower
Flagler County Education Foundation