Our Team

Leah B. Mazzola, PhD, PCC, BCC - Founder/Owner, Executive Director

Dr. Leah has handled all business administration, management, research, and development responsibilities since founding YCI in 2013. She is an experienced leader, coaching professional, and psychology expert passionate about integrating evidence-based coaching into mainstream support services as a social change initiative. As a leader in the coach training industry, she’s committed to increasing access to rigorous, ethical, high-quality training, mentoring, and supervision for underserved communities. As a professional coach, she offers behavioral science-based coaching to support clients as they identify, tap into, and build their inner resources and resilience to enhance well-being, performance, and quality of life.

Prior to transitioning to this passion work full-time she spent 18 years in the corporate world between the finance and insurance industries. Since entering the professional coaching space in 2012, she’s offered life, academic, career, and parent coaching in private practice serving teens and adults of all ages. She’s also had the pleasure of dedicating a portion of her coaching slots to organizations leading the charge to increase access to high quality coaching on a global scale. She currently does that work as a Mental Health Coach for Lyra Health. Her overarching mission across industries has been to promote self-determination, values-based goal pursuit, evidence-based decision-making, and psychologically safe work environments that foster well-being at work. She approaches all of her work as a social responsibility initiative to ensure those she supports walk away with more knowledge of the biopsychosocial contributors to thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that affords them the opportunity to recognize when and how to choose and act to positively influence outcomes for self, others, and the communities around them.

She discovered the power of coaching through her doctoral studies as she investigated why some high-risk youth overcome the barriers to success while others do not. This research led her to coaching to combat marginalization and trauma with resilience building and empowerment. Her passion for the work is very personal as a thriving adult who overcame trauma, poverty, and juvenile delinquency to create a future she never imagined possible while deep in the struggle.

PhD in Psychology with Forensic Psychology specialization
o Expertise: Criminal desistance and positive reform
o Dissertation: A Phenomenological Inquiry into Identity Change on the Path to Long-term Criminal Desistance
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice

Board Certified Coach – Center for Credentialing & Education

Professional Certified Coach – International Coach Federation – Registered ICF Mentor Coach
Over 250 hours of coach specific training

The Life Stuff

  • – a Hispanic/Indigenous American who grew up one of seven kids in poverty,

  • – experienced all 10 assessed Adverse Childhood Experiences,

    – spent teens involved in delinquency and heavy substance abuse,

    – worked at least 2 jobs at all times since 14,

    – dropped out of high school junior year,

    – decided to create a new path for herself at 17,

    – secured first corporate job at 18,

    – used an iron will, willingness to learn from those who had what she wanted to gain the professional skills necessary to thrive at work,

    – bought first house at 21,

    – earned GED at 24,

    – paused to consider how beautiful life was on the other side of positive transformation, so became a first-generation college student at 25 to study why she was able to make it out and transform her life when so many others hadn’t,

    – worked 70+ hours weekly for the next nine years as she juggled full-time corporate work, full-time school, full-time family life, and began life coaching focused side hustles that have become her full-time life’s work,

    – met the love of her life at 27 in between and co-raised four securely attached, thriving, children effectively breaking the cycle of poverty, abuse, and criminality for her kids.

    – Earned her PhD in Psychology at 34 and walked the stage with a lump in her throat as she considered representing every young brown girl managing risk and trauma outside of their control, still feeling like every day won’t end and struggling to imagine better for themselves. This could be them too. We have no idea what we’re capable of until we decide to focus our energy on building the good within and for ourselves to make positive, meaningful contributions to our world. YCI coaches are here to guide youth to that awareness and support their efforts to overcome and thrive too.

Faculty and Support

1Liezel Lane

Liezel Lane, MA, ACC

Faculty - Coach Trainer & Practicum Supervisor

Liezel Lane is a teen life and resilience coach holds degrees in Psychology and Industrial Psychology with an emphasis in Psychometric Assessments. She maintains a small private coaching practice known as MyTeenLifeCoach.com where she primarily offers life, academic, career, emotional integration and ADHD coaching for teens young adults and millennials. She became proficient in this work after leaving the corporate world in I/O Psychology leading learning and development departments as well as executive coaching. She then started her own non-profit organization for youth and teens, mentoring community leadership development through performing arts as a facilitation tool (Atlanta S.E.E.Ds Inc.® – Self Esteem Empowerment and Education through Dance). She utilizes evidence based, strengths-based, assessment tools and body/emotional integration tools in her coaching. Liezel is passionate about young people becoming the sustainable force for the planet’s future and preparing youth for their own purposes and leadership abilities. 


  • Life, academic, career and Social Emotional Learning coaching for teens and young adults 12-25
  • Psychometric Testing/Assessments A,B and C levels.
  • Parent coaching and Life coach training
  • Leadership development 


  • Masters Industrial Psychology with specialization in Industrial Sociology and Psychometry
  • Expertise: Leadership Development, Cultural Adaptation and Social Emotional Learning, Psychometry
  • Dissertation:
  • Generating a Theory from Predicting the Success Level of Assurance Representatives
  • Imperial Society Of Teachers for Dancing (ISTD)
  • Registered Psychometrist with South African Medical and Dental Council
  • Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Sociology
  • Over 150 hours of coach-specific training

Chan Sheng Qiang ("Joe Chan"), RSW, PCC

Coaching Faculty, Practicum Supervisor, & Mentor Coach

Joe has been a youth work practitioner for the past two decades, specializing in working with children and youth in the social service sector. Joe enjoys the challenges and thrills of this work starting as a caseworker himself overseeing individuals, families and programmes to eventually pioneering the youth service of REACH Community Services Society (Singapore) for the last many years, reaching out to an average of 800 individuals and families per month all across Singapore.

His training in social work helps to provide a systemic perspective to complex issues and problems. He is also trained in the Solution Focused Approach in therapy and coaching which helps to provide a unique way of looking at individuals across the different spectrum of needs and contexts using a good integrative approach of social work, therapy and coaching with young people.

In his work, Joe has worked and collaborated with government agencies, community grassroots organisations, schools, other social service agencies and the corporate sector to bring about changes in people’s lives. On 7th May 2021, Joe has been appointed as a Youth Work Mentor under the National Youth Work Mentorship Scheme in Singapore. Joe has also presented in various professional platforms both locally and internationally on the applications of the Solution Focused applications in social service, leadership and coaching. He is also the author of “Youth Lenses” and a contributor to the following books “Solution Focused Practice in Asia, The Solution Focused Approach with Children and Young People and Solution Focused Practice Around the World.” 

Today, Joe is in private practice, providing coaching for parents and young people, helping to resolve their issues and empower them to work towards a stronger relationship.

Joe is also a trained and certified user of the EQ-i 2.0 tool, helping leaders and managers to build up their Emotional Intelligence through coaching and mentorship.

Joe is fluent in English and Mandarin. 

Bachelor of Arts & Social Science (Social Work), Master Solution-Focused Practitioner, Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and a Registered Social Worker (RSW).