“I have decided that I need to focus on myself.”
Elizabeth is a 40-year old Hispanic woman, married with six children. She came to Women’s Life Care Center when her youngest child was eight months old, enrolling in the Learn While You Earn parenting education program and earning essential baby items. At each program session, she also participated in life coaching, which is offered free of charge in tandem with education programs.
Elizabeth began coaching with very maternal goals – to help her children realize their educational plans, to help them develop their potential and use their God-given gifts to prepare for fulfilled lives. Having moved to America from her homeland of Mexico 21 years ago, she believed strongly in the opportunity our country had to offer, and she was willing to work as hard as necessary to help her children succeed. She works as a housecleaner but aspires to become a Spanish-English translator.
Her coaching sessions were directed at her children’s needs: One session focused on whether to send her son to attend a sports clinic out of state, a trip that would stretch the family’s limited resources; another focused on finding a way to encourage her 10-year old daughter’s interest in music; yet another centered on helping an older daughter prepare academically for a medical career.
Elizabeth clearly values her role as nurturer and encourager of her children’s dreams. Her expression brightens as she recounts them: “One of my teenage sons wants to be either a doctor or a famous football player. The other one wants to be a policeman or serve in the military.”
Yet, as she neared the completion of her seventh coaching session, Elizabeth made a thrilling announcement. . . not about her children but about herself:
“I have decided that I need to focus now on myself -- my own education.” She moved directly from completing the coaching program into beginning a G.E.D. preparatory study program at the center.
“Through coaching I realized that it is just as important for me to be an example to my kids as it is for me to help them in their own pursuits,” Elizabeth said.