In a Q&A with Giulia Terry, a near-peer success coach at Austin Peay State University, we check in to see how she is being supported throughout her term of service from her university and College Possible. Near-peer success coaches go through intensive training throughout their service to ensure they can support their students with academic and personal wellbeing.
What inspired you to become a College Possible success coach and AmeriCorps member?
I learned about College Possible at a graduation event on Austin Peay’s campus. I have worked in positions that support freshmen and help them navigate their first year of college, and I loved that I could do something similar in a more professional setting. I also thought it would be a wonderful way to give back to the Austin Peay community that did so much for me as an undergraduate student and currently as a graduate student. I am grateful for the opportunity to make an impact on a student’s journey to graduation.
How have faculty and staff members at Austin Peay University and College Possible supported you in your role as a coach?
The faculty and staff members at Austin Peay and College Possible have been extremely helpful. The supervisors at Austin Peay are willing to share their knowledge with me. They have allowed us to gain access to student information so I can better support my students. The staff at College Possible are so kind, approachable, and supportive. I appreciate the collaborative work experience and problem solving among the coaches, Austin Peay supervisors, and College Possible personnel.
How has your onboarding with College Possible along with weekly Friday training helped you support students in your role as a coach?
The onboarding process was very informative and a great introduction to my role as a success coach. College Possible provided me with the materials I needed to understand my responsibilities and how I can perform to the best of my ability. The weekly Friday training has given me the opportunity to get to know coaches at other sites. Every Friday we are able to share our experiences and work together to solve common problems. I especially appreciate the constant support and information from Grace and Matt as they facilitate our training.
What is one occasion, or story, you have about a student you have supported as a success coach?
I have a student who reminds me a lot of myself. Like me, she is interested in health professions, she expects to earn very high grades, and she is involved on campus. I support the student by sharing resources such as the Learning Resource Center for tutoring and the library for research paper assistance. I have also helped the student find ways to prepare for dental school because I know how important it is to start the process early. I often remind her to give herself some grace and let her know that she is doing a great job because sometimes that is all a student needs to hear.
What do you hope to pursue and accomplish following your service with AmeriCorps and College Possible?
I have decided to do another term of service as a College Possible success coach. After my second term of service, I hope to pursue a career in dentistry. I have wanted to be a dentist for several years, but College Possible has allowed me to realize how I can use any position to make a difference in the lives of others. I want to combine my passion for science and philanthropy to provide services for underserved communities.