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A day in the life of Camillia Washington: what it means to be a College Possible college coach

Young Woman With Brown Hair Wearing A College Possible Vest And A Dark Long Sleeve Shirt, Smiling At The Camera

As a first-year college coach with a strong passion for educational equity and success, Camillia Washington emphasizes that the key to successful coaching is forming meaningful bonds with students and meeting them where they are. She is a coaching chameleon: her relationship with each student differs as she shows up for them according to what they need. 

Camillia says being close in age to most of the 150+ students she serves is advantageous, and she can relate to many of the things that they are experiencing. She described her own college experience as an endless opportunity, where she was able to join many different things and have multiple leadership opportunities. As a first-generation student herself, college began with many ups and downs but eventually she found her footing and leveraged the resources she could find.

“Part of what I like doing is helping others, especially when I relate to them. I can be that someone for them when they might not have anyone else,” said Camillia. “I am drawn to connecting with students who are in positions like me and being able to listen to them and help them in different ways.” 

After learning from her own experiences and mistakes, she can share her knowledge with students who need it. 

An average day for Camillia could mean meeting with an enrolled student to help them with the FAFSA, review their grades, find campus resources, or anything else they may need help with. Or it could be helping a non-enrolled student with their goal of getting back into college. For Camillia, some of the most meaningful work happens when students open up about their personal lives. She enjoys knowing those students feel comfortable enough with her to share details of their lives and feelings. When she sets certain goals with students she values hearing about their progress, seeing them rise above challenges, and gain confidence.

“I value when the students I work with share feedback on their progress and how far they have come working on the goals that we set,” said Camillia. “Once they complete their participation in our coaching program, I hope they feel  and supported. It’s important to recognize that everything we do is for the students. We hear their life stories and situations and help them through graduation. hey will go on to use the skills and knowledge that they’ve learned through College Possible to make a meaningful impact in our community.”

For the students whom she works with, connecting with Camillia means to be heard and motivated.

“I like being able to be there for students in every way that I can,” said Camillia. “I love that in this position, I am able to help others find their purpose or just be there if they need someone to talk to who could understand them. A successful college coach is someone who is non-judgmental and meets students where they are—and I try to emulate that as much as possible.”

Are you interested in applying to be a College Possible coach? Click here to learn more.

Written by AmeriCorps Junior Coach, Mickinley Plyman

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