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About the Youth Coaching Institute

We’re a community of social change agents who are bound by the common thread of navigating our own share of struggles as adolescents. Despite these hurdles, we not only overcame but thrived, building lives we can be proud of. Now, our mission is to reach back and support the next generation of young people by equipping caring adults with the tools they need to make an impact.

Empowering Young Minds: Where Coaching Meets Compassion

We’ve dedicated over a decade to our mission at the Youth Coaching Institute, focusing on two key goals: transforming the lives of youth by increasing access to evidence-based coaching and providing rigorous, research-based coaching education at affordable rates. Our approach is all about building a supportive community, where resilience and empowerment are at the heart of everything we do, ensuring that both young individuals —and those guiding them —are well-equipped for success and well-being.

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Our Values at the Youth Coaching Institute

Competence and Capacity

A coach’s ability to hold a safe and supportive space for others depends on the coach’s openness, willingness, and commitment to remain diligent and engaged in their own wellness, learning, and growth.

Psychological Safety

Coaches create the social conditions conducive to the coachee’s ability to be authentic and vulnerable for the sake of learning and growth. Coaches strive to develop their capacity to self-manage throughout coaching engagements.


A coach’s trustworthiness, dependability, responsibility, and consistency are vital to the work we do in the world. Coaches strive to uphold high ethical and professional standards to promote effective coaching interactions and positive coaching experiences.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We believe our differences can be our greatest strengths. We are committed to making evidence-based coaching and rigorous coach education more accessible and promoting a sense of belonging and value for all who come through our programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coaching is a non-directive, person-centered, growth-oriented support service to help functional clients achieve meaningful goals that matter to them. Coaching promotes self-concordance, pursuing goals aligned with personal values and interests. The coaching relationship serves as a structural support that offers three factors vital to promoting positive outcomes for youth: a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, competency building, and time intensity.

The coaching approach emphasizes autonomy, voice, and choice.

Clients come to coaching with an interest in self-improvement or measurable progress. Through coaching, clients find insight and direction to identify practical means to reach their goals. The coach guides and supports the client’s planned, intentional, and purposeful action toward achievement from a place of openness, acceptance, and non-judgment.

Coaching clients are ready and willing to do the work inherent in the coaching process. They are committed to optimizing their internal and external resources to achieve the outcomes they seek.

As youth life coaches, we support tweens, teens, and emerging adults as they navigate life, relationships, school, and job commitments with a focus on enhancing well-being and reducing unnecessary distress. We help them gain clarity and make decisions that fit who they are, how they want to live, and who they want to be in the world. We enhance outcomes through these channels:

Resource Optimization

Helping youth identify and use the internal and external tools presently available to them to begin moving toward their goals. We support positive identity development in this process by helping our clients become more aware of their natural strengths, interests, values, skills, and talents. It’s easy to focus on what we believe we’re lacking or what we perceive as our weaknesses. Sometimes, we can use some help shifting our focus back to what we’re already good or great at and using those things to build the life we want.

Personal Development

We build our client’s sense of power to choose goals that matter to them, pursue those goals, and achieve them. We support youth as they prioritize managing their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, self-care, and other healthy habits to enhance their chances of achieving their goals in a balanced way that protects the person in the process. 

Social Development

We facilitate social and emotional learning and related skill-building. Through this focus, our clients become more aware of the importance of positive social connections and relationships to success and well-being.

School and Work Development

This work is about goal orientation for fit in education, job paths, and prosocial groups aligned with our client’s goals. We coach our clients through the research and considerations necessary to begin to establish self-determined life direction, related planning, and action steps around long-term goals.

Academic coaching is about our client’s future.

Education is one of the most important resources we can use to improve our chances of experiencing a good life and making positive contributions to our world. Learning is a job that requires intentional effort and engagement, if it’s going to stick. Most students pursue an education because they have to not because they want to. While the benefits can outweigh the costs, the process can be long and depleting for many. With academic coaching, students can tap into the internal and external resources they need to reduce unnecessary distress and achieve academic success.

What is academic coaching, exactly?

An academic life coach works with the student inside or outside of the school setting. Our goal is to help students examine their approaches to learning, identify strengths and opportunity areas, and develop skills and strategies to improve their effectiveness and reduce toxic stress. Studies show self-reflectiveness around approaches to learning and effective use of resources enhances academic performance. Students who take time to reflect on how they will prepare for assignments, how they learn best, what resources they will use, and why they are the best fit outperform peers who do not. Academic coaches help youth figure this stuff out and begin conditioning constructive habits for ongoing success.

Long-term benefits of academic coaching

Academic coaching clients most often seek our services because they lack confidence or motivation, feel lost about how to begin improving their performance, or are just overwhelmed. Often the insights they gain about themselves and the strategies they learn are useful across all subjects and trickle out into their life. Students improve their academic awareness which leads to tailored and effective strategies. Each bite-sized success builds confidence and motivation on the way. We often address time management and prioritization, effective goal setting, and striving through achievement. These self-management skills are helpful in all life domains and they’re happy to keep using what works.

Jobs or careers are among the most important resources we can use to establish and maintain independence and provide for ourselves. Since many adults spend most of their waking hours working, how we choose that work life weighs heavily on our health and satisfaction.

If we’re intentional, we can identify and pursue work that energizes us while meeting our needs. If we’re not careful, we can end up in depleting situations that do more harm than good. Becoming intentional and strategic about our work decisions requires a good amount of self-awareness to address job fit and environment fit.

A good fit at work contributes to your overall well-being, productivity, and satisfaction. If you have an ill fit it may contribute to toxic stress levels, counterproductive behavior, and general dissatisfaction. Pursuing job and career goals in line with who we are is the secret to fostering engagement and peak performance.

Through job or career coaching, we help clients explore personal traits like personality, strengths, skills, needs, values, and goals; determine what matters to them in their work life, and we identify the types of jobs and workplaces that could be a good fit for them.

What you will learn through job or career coaching

Many of our job or career coaching clients seek our services for help with job or career direction, improving fit, motivation, engagement, performance, work-life balance, and reducing toxic stress or burnout. Through job or career coaching, we tap into the self and situational awareness necessary to find clarity and direction and improve work-life experiences.

We work to develop the self-management, professional skills, and positive coping methods necessary to optimize our client’s work life. Through this process, work can become a positive outlet to meet psychological needs for learning, growth, meaning, purpose, engagement, competence, confidence, and self-actualization; and social needs for relatedness, belonging, connection, respect, and social support while addressing financial needs. That’s the trifecta!

Adolescents are in a sensitive stage of development. Their social cognition is developing rapidly, which means they’re much more sensitive to others’ judgments about them. They’re more self-conscious as they’re developing their identity and trying to decide where they fit in. They’re dealing with heightened emotions and sensitivity with hormone surges related to biological changes that are still very new for them. They’re wired to be more impulsive and engage in more risk-taking as they develop a willingness to separate from their family and create their own way.

A non-judgmental approach is healthy for all humans but is needed so much more in this developmentally vulnerable stage. The non-judgmental ear can make the difference between whether they reach out for help when they’re struggling or get the support and guidance they really need as they navigate toward healthy independence. The non-directive approach is a way to respect their need to develop their own voice, choice, and self-confidence.

Studies show that adolescent interventions, including personal and social skill-building practices, developed from a strong research base significantly enhance self-perceptions, school engagement, positive social behaviors, grades, and reduced problem behaviors. However, those lacking a research base show minimal effects.

Meet YCI’s Team of Educators

Get to know the members of our passionate team, each playing a pivotal role in nurturing growth and resilience through skilled coaching for the next generation.

Transform Lives & Build a Rewarding Career Through Professional Youth Coach Training

Do you feel ill-equipped to lead youth effectively in your current role? Are you looking to enhance your skill set, start a new career path, or gain valuable certifications? At the Youth Coaching Institute, we understand these challenges and have tailored our programs to meet your needs. Whether you’re a mentor, teacher, social worker, or coach, our evidence-based coaching framework equips you with the tools and skills necessary to make a profound impact on today’s youth. Our training goes beyond theoretical knowledge, providing practical, evidence-based strategies to improve your interaction and relationship-building with youth.

We recognize a common concern among professionals in the youth sector: a noticeable gap in the services provided to tweens, teens, and young adults. Many find themselves in youth mentoring roles without a clear direction or framework to guide their efforts. This is where our coaching programs step in. By learning how to coach, you gain a comprehensive set of skills and a structured approach to mentoring. This not only enhances your effectiveness but also transforms the mentoring experience into a measurable, positive journey for both you and the youth you serve.

Our programs and elective courses are designed for anyone seeking to make a deep, lasting impact on the lives of youth, whether through enhancing your current role or embarking on a new career path. The skills and certifications gained through our training are valuable for personal growth and professional development alike. By enrolling with YCI, you not only refine your ability to support and guide young individuals effectively but also open up opportunities for advancement in your field, potentially leading to fulfilling roles in education, social work, or even starting your own coaching practice.

Youth Coaching Expert Insights

Discover a library of free expert resources exploring the youth coaching landscape, the experiences of adolescents today, and opportunities to strengthen your approach. 

Elevate Your Impact and Start Coaching Today

Make a positive and measurable impact with the Youth Coaching Institute.  Develop your coaching skillset and begin the journey to becoming a certified youth life coach today.