Life Coach Training & Coach Mentoring Services

Youth Life Coach Training & Certification

We offer a 63-hour evidence-based youth life coach training and certification program for youth-serving professionals. Our program is approved by the International Coach Federation and the Center for Credentialing and Education. Coaches who complete the program earn our Certified Youth Mentor Coach / Certified Youth Leadership Coach designation. We merge behavioral science and coaching to equip underserved youth to overcome and thrive.

ICF Mentor Coaching

Individual and group mentor coaching for certified coaches pursuing the International Coach Federation’s Associate Certified Coach credential.

Continuing Education for Certified Coaches

Live and self-study coach continuing education options for certified coaches interested in developing evidence-based knowledge relevant to coaching adolescents.

"When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."

- Toni Morrison

Our Rise and Thrive Model

Our coaches are trained to guide clients through an intake assessment process to understand the client’s needs and goals. From there, the coach tailors the coaching plan to the client incorporating relevant focus areas from the four domains below. These domains integrate research-based resilience building initiatives for optimal performance and enhanced well-being through achievement. 

Resource Optimization

Coaching clients through resource optimization involves helping the client identify and leverage the internal and external tools presently available to them to begin moving toward their goals. We facilitate self-awareness around concepts like identity, strengths, interests, values, and desires to enhance self-mastery.

Personal Development

Coaching clients through personal development involves helping clients enhance their sense of agency to choose goals, act toward chosen goals, and succeed. We support clients as they prioritize self-regulation and tap into self-determined motivation, meaning, and purpose on their way to achievement.

Social Development

Coaching clients through social development involves facilitating social and emotional learning and related competency building. Through this focus, clients become more aware of the functional role of social interactions and relationships to success and well-being.

Structural Support Development

Coaching clients through structural support development involves facilitating goal-orientation for fit in education, job paths, and prosocial groups conducive to goals. We coach clients through the research and considerations necessary to begin to establish self-determined life direction, related planning, and action steps around long-term goals.

Training Costs


All training, supervision, and practicum is completed 100% virtually and available internationally via live Zoom webinar and/or telephone conference calling.

Candidates must be

  • 21 years old or older

Recommended pre-requisites:

  • hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in any field with 1 year of experience working directly with at-risk youth or

  • hold an associate’s degree or higher in any field with 2 years of experience working directly with at-risk youth or

  • have four years of experience working directly with at-risk youth or young adults

Tip: Our training programs are ideal for professionals working directly with underserved youth, professionals leading organizations serving these populations, or those who aim to serve this audience through private coaching businesses or volunteering.

Life coaching is a helping profession focused on learning and growth. Thus, it is a wonderful skillset addition for those in or interested in a career path within helping professions or education (e.g., human resources, counseling, social work, human services, nursing, teaching, public health, etc.) 

Training progression is as follows for those pursuing youth life coach certification:

Stage 1Introduction to Coaching – cannot be taken as a stand-alone block.

Stage 2Certified Youth Transition Coach – for trainees with no interest in independent practice or business building. These coaches will apply their newly honed skills as internal employees for schools, colleges, community-serving organizations, etc.

Stage 3Certified Youth Mentor Coach/Certified Youth Leadership Coach – Trainees who complete Stages 2-3 will earn the full ICF and CCE-approved life coach training hours. These coaches will go through the business building considerations portion of training and be prepared to continue higher credentialing through the ICF and/or CCE.




Stage 4ICF Group Mentor Coaching – for coaches who will be pursuing higher credentialing through the International Coach Federation. This is the 10 hours of mentor coaching required for the ICF ACC application.

Stage 5 – Specialty CertificationsComing February 2021 – Certified Career Discovery Coach, Certified Learning & Development Coach, Certified Desistance and Positive Reform Coach – These will be 6-8-week courses for certified coaches. 

We currently offer two self-study options:

CE – Coaching Adolescents (Video Series) – Open to coaches certified by an ICF- or CCE-approved coach training organization who are seeking supplemental training for coaching youth and emerging adults. The complete training program consists of 16 hours of self-study training over eight weeks. International Coach Federation-credentialed coaches may use this training toward Resource Development CE for the maximum 16 hours of self-paced courses allowed for ICF credential renewal. See the ICF’s “self-paced courses and other self-study guidelines. Board Certified Coaches through the Center for Credentialing & Education may use these hours toward self-study CE. See the CCE’s CE guidelines. 

Basic Coaching Skills (Video Series) – Available to organizations employing staff or volunteer coaches who practice under the supervision of a coach certified by an ICF- or CCE-approved program. This series is not intended to serve as a stand-alone training or certification program for coaches. It is intended to serve as a training primer. Coaching is an applied discipline. Therefore, it is highly recommended that staff or volunteer coaches experience formal training in a synchronous setting wherein they have an opportunity to apply and develop coaching skills in practice under the supervision of a qualified coach. 

We currently offer the following private training options for organizations:

Youth Life Coach Certification (Stages 1-3) – Available for private group scheduling for agencies or organizations with a group of 8 or more. If you have less than 8 to train at any given time, feel free to enroll them in any of our ongoing live training cohorts with space available. 

Certified Desistance and Positive Reform Coach – Separate training for professionals who support juveniles and emerging adults working toward positive change. (E.g., juvenile justice professionals, social workers, case managers, probation officers, counselors, etc.) Only available on a group training basis for agencies or organizations supporting this audience. Scroll down to the pricing table for additional details.

Contact to schedule.

Because socioeconomic disadvantage is a common issue for our audience, trainees who certify through our program commit to coaching one to two pro-bono and/or severe sliding scale clients during or after training on a need basis. 

Training Calendar


CE Only

Ongoing – Self-Study CE Coaching Adolescents (For certified coaches) – Registration is OPEN

Releasing Winter 2021 – Self-Study CE – Certified Career Discovery Coach Specialization (For certified coaches) – Registration is OPEN

Ongoing – Basic Coaching Skills – Registration is OPEN

Live Training

Winter 2020 – Virtual/Zoom – Stages 1-3 Life Coach Training/Certification (Weekend) – Accelerated 20-week schedule – Saturdays, 10:00 AM CST – 1:00 PM CST – February 15-June 27, 2020  – Registration is FULL

Spring 2020 – Virtual/Zoom – Stages 1-3 Life Coach Training/Certification (Evening) –Accelerated 20-week schedule – Thursdays, 5:30 PM CST – 8:30 PM CST – April 16-August 27, 2020 – Registration is FULL

Fall 2020 – Virtual/Zoom – Stages 1-3 Life Coach Training/Certification (Weekend) –Accelerated 20-week schedule – Saturdays, 10 AM – 1 PM CST – September 5, 2020-January 30, 2021 – Registration is FULL

Winter 2021 – Virtual/Zoom – Stages 1-3 Life Coach Training/Certification (Evening) – Accelerated 20-week schedule – Thursdays, 5:30 PM CST – 8:30 PM CST – February 25 – July 8, 2021 – FULL

Spring 2021 – Virtual/Zoom – Stages 1-3 Life Coach Training/Certification (Weekend) – Accelerated 20-week schedule – Saturdays, 10 AM – 1 PM CST – May 1 – September 11, 2021 – (Facilitator: Leah B. Mazzola, PhD, PCC, BCC) – Registration is OPEN 


(Mentor Coach: Leah B. Mazzola, PhD, PCC, BCC)

The group will meet bi-weekly for five weeks. The first four will be 90 minutes each. The last one will be 60 minutes. Each mentee will also schedule three 1:1 sessions. The schedule is as follows:

Spring 2020

Group sessions: Tuesdays, 4/28/20, 5/12/20, 5/26/20, & 6/9/20 – 7:30 PM – 9 PM CST + Tuesday,  6/23/20, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM CST – Registration is FULL

Summer 2020

Group sessions: Saturdays, 7/11/20, 7/25/20, 8/1/20, & 8/15/20 – 10 – 11:30 AM CST + Saturday,  8/29/20, 10-11 AM CST – Registration is FULL

Fall 2020

Group sessions: Thursdays, 9/10/20, 9/24/20, 10/8/20, & 10/22/20 – 5:30 – 7 PM CST + Thursday,  11/05/20, 5:30-6:30 PM CST – Registration is FULL

Winter 2021

Group sessions: Saturdays, 2/20/2021, 3/06/2021, 3/20/2021, & 4/03/2021 – 11 AM – 12:30 PM CST + Saturday,  4/17/2021, 11 AM – 12 PM CST -Registration is OPEN (2 slots left)

Trainee review highlights

Esther Gonzalez Freeman, BCC, ACC
Esther Gonzalez Freeman, BCC, ACCCEO/Founder of E Powered Media LLC
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For years I thought about becoming a certified coach, but I always put it off because I thought it would be time intensive and unaffordable. I kept coming back to becoming a coach and I decided to look into it one more time. That's when I came across YCI on the ICF website. It was so affordable (including a potential scholarship!) and seemed to go at a reasonable pace. Less than a year later I am a Board Certified Coach with the following designations: Personal/Life, Career, and Executive/Corporate/Business/Leadership. I am also ICF ACC credentialed. I have a growing coaching business and none of this would have been possible without YCI! Maggie Steele is an incredible instructor,coach, and mentor. She not only supported me through the learning process but provided guidance that helped me focus on the right things to pass my credentialing exams. The skills I learned can be transferred to serve any population, not just youth. Although I do coach youth, most of my current clients are women on the brink of a career change or starting their own business. I have even been featured in publications such as BUSTLE! I highly recommend the Youth Coaching Institute's program to ANYONE who wants to be a confident and successful coach.
Bonnie Prestridge
Bonnie PrestridgeTransition Coach for Youth with Disabilities & Chronic Illnesses (Private Practice) Head of Leadership Development & Member Resources at the Berkeley Student Cooperative
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Without question, signing up for YCI's Life Coach Training program was one of the best investments of my money, time, and energy. I had been working on a business idea for a private coaching practice for almost a year before I came to YCI and was frustrated by how fluffy and outrageously expensive most coaching programs were and how they lacked any overt commitment to social and political change. Talking to Leah for the first time was a breath of fresh air. She is organized, straightforward, pragmatic, results-oriented, highly ethical, and deeply committed to serving at-risk youth. The 5-month 3-stage certification program was everything I needed. Going in, I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough time for practice and feedback, but that was not the case. I learned A TON, not just from the sessions where I coached one of my peers, but also from watching Leah coach other people in front of the group and being coached myself by my classmates. I was also concerned that the training wouldn't be rigorous enough, but that was not the case. The reading assignments were rich and deep, and Leah held us all to high standards with feedback that was warm and encouraging, but also direct and honest. On top of that, the lectures were engaging and the reading materials were useful. I appreciated the balance of theory and practice; everything we learned could be put into action right away. When I started YCI, my head was spinning with all of the different directions I wanted to take my business and the amount of knowledge I needed to acquire. Leah's style of training grounded me, and I've left more focused and confident than I ever expected. Leah and YCI are the real deal!
Jade Enrique
Jade EnriqueSchool Psychologist, College Instructor, & Life Coach
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Maggie was a great facilitator. She was genuine, kind, and had a level of patience that I have not seen in a long time. She spent time during class, after class, and privately to reassure students about their coaching skills and to help them with extra practice. Her reflections after live coaching practice were simply thought-provoking and inspired me to consistently want to improve and seek out more information and the skills to do so. She made the powerpoints in class come alive with vivid examples and never seemed as if she was reading a script or if she was bored. The classes just seemed like we were having a really great informative discussion that no one wanted to leave. She gave resources that always matched up with what I have seen coming out of the top research journals and universities. But most importantly, whenever I spoke to Maggie I felt heard, understood, and as if she cared about my individual needs as a learner, coach, and as a person. As a seasoned mental health professional who has dabbled in different models of practice, I came to YCI thinking that there was not much that I was going to learn that I did not already know about asking questions. However, I was proven incorrect. It was not necessarily new questioning techniques that I learned but when and where to place them coupled with the evidenced-based reason of why I was doing so. Being trained in mental health and other fields themselves, they also knew the fine line between coaching and other disciplines and helped students to be able to clearly differentiate where that line is. So many coaching programs and/or facilitators don't give the depth and breadth of background information that YCI does; which can lead to sticky situations at times. Overall, my clinical skills as a practitioner and critical thinking skills were stretched in new ways. I am excited to take clients on this new journey with these skills that I have learned.
Leondria Taty, FNP-C
Leondria Taty, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner, Medical Writer, Adjunct Clinical Faculty
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As someone with a diverse medical background, I derived substantial value in supplementing my learning in the theories and evidence-based applications of life coaching. In my case, the potential for enhanced health outcomes amongst the at-risk/high-risk youth population through professionally applied life coaching skills is a significant opportunity. Completing the YCI program has without a doubt validated my position that life coaching skills should be integrated within not only medical education, but all higher education. Irregardless of who you are, where you come from, or where you’re going – well taught and well applied life coaching skills have the potential to transform the way you exist in the world. With that said, I would encourage anyone who is deeply committed and invested in profoundly serving others to consider the YCI as a complement to their personal and professional development.
Deborah Brown
Deborah BrownOwner/Life Coach, Wild Spirit Coaching
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I had the great pleasure of studying with Leah Mazzola at the Youth Coaching Institute last year. The course curriculum is extremely thorough and inclusive, and very well-paced, so that by the end, you actually feel competent to begin coaching yourself. The course included a lot of hands-on experience via practice coaching with other participants along with helpful, relevant feedback on our developing skills. Leah’s depth of knowledge of coaching and psychology is extensive, and her feedback was always on-target, compassionate, and encouraging. As I got to know her, I became more and more impressed with her expertise and commitment. Because of her own life journey, she truly wants to help improve the lives of young people who may have no other access to caring guidance. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks it, and I find her a true source of inspiration. My life is better for taking this course and for being able to learn from Leah.
Davida I. Arnold, BCC
Davida I. Arnold, BCCLife Coach in Private Practice
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I leave every class feeling more prepared and more encouraged to do my work as a coach. Coaching is a serious and pivotal helping profession. YCI sets the standard in coach training by treating it with the seriousness and quality it deserves. I cannot recommend YCI enough to anyone who wants to enter the coaching profession or master their skills as a coach.
Larry Goodin, MBA
Larry Goodin, MBAAdjunct Professor, Life Coach, & Motivational Speaker
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Youth Coaching Institute training is a must do! After completing all four stages, I was able to gain clarity on my "why" and “purpose”. YCI was a safe space which empowered me to be vulnerable and tap into my empathic self during each stage. My coaching cohort was very diverse and provided our team with realistic challenges youth face around the world. This experience allowed me to identify many deficiencies in my coaching style and transformed them into rewarding possibilities. The training has also supported me with becoming a motivational speaker and influential second year adjunct professor.
Tammy Scully
Tammy ScullyFounder, Foster the Journey
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Over the last eight months I have gone from excited and clear headed, to being completely challenged and questioning my abilities, to picking myself up again and learning how to operate as Tammy, 'The Coach'. When I started, I knew I loved inspiring people to dream and set goals to achieve them, but was completely unfamiliar with the 'how-to's' of coaching. I have gained valuable experience in the psychological, strategic, technical and legal aspects of coaching. This was an incredibly holistic learning experience! Next stop, a Masters in Social Work/Counseling!
Pedro Rodriguez, MA
Pedro Rodriguez, MACounselor, Coach, Mentor
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My experience with Youth Coaching Institute has been life changing. The training was informative and challenging. It was great getting to build relationships with my peers and learn coaching skills together. The coaching sessions were my favorite because it gave us hands-on experience. Dr. Leah is a great communicator and gave me good feedback to help me sharpen my coaching skills. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been trained by Dr. Leah and be a part of the Youth Coaching Institute. I look forward to growing in this field and launching my coaching business.
Chris Eudy
Chris EudyEducator
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YCI and the youth coaching certification course have been highlights of my personal and professional development for my entire life! I did not want it to end. I have such a sense of accomplishment! I have learned a new skill along with tons of research-based material on young people, their growth stages and their challenges. I appreciate Maggie's teaching style and all of her feedback to my classmates and me. It was always bold AND compassionate with the goal of making us the best coaches we can be. I unequivocally and without hesitation recommend Youth Coaching Institute to anyone wishing to pursue life coaching or otherwise wanting to enhance his or her competence in helping the young people of today. The training is time well spent!
Sharim Shoman
Sharim ShomanLife Coach, Courage to Seek
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I have been honored to learn alongside talented and diverse classmates that share my passion for empowering our younger generations through coaching. YCI’s founder and instructor, Leah Mazzola is an inspiring living testament proving that we have the power to change our life story. The models taught are all evidence-based practices, the group discussions and supervisions offer continuous constructive feedback allowing for all trainees to maximize their learning potential. Every week Leah does an exceptional job at creating lectures that are powerful, informative, engaging, and relatable. I am so grateful to be a part of a program that has given me the opportunity to practice what I love and live my vision.
Daisy Mertzel
Daisy MertzelYouth Advocate & Case Manager
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The YCI Certification was more than I could have hoped for... the learning and insights gained are invaluable. The environment of encouragement and learning, presence and community is unlike any other I have experienced. To ability to observe Leah's coaching in action, (at the risk of sounding over the top) felt akin to watching a master painter. ​I lost count as to how many "AHA!" moments I experienced for my own life as well as with regards to being of service to others. Though I tend to be skeptical of distant format education, it felt as if we were all in the same room, while still remaining in the comfort of my own home. This program was more than a rewarding educational experience, it was truly life transformational. I'm most grateful to YCI and to Leah!
Courtney Barton
Courtney BartonLife Coach
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My decision to earn a Life Coach certification through YCI was made after months of research and conversations with numerous coaches and training programs across the country. Unlike most of the other programs I found, YCI’s methodology is based upon proven experience and research. Further setting it apart, classes are taught by credentialed and experienced instructors, educating life-coaches who help expand professional accountability and credibility in the field and study of life-coaching. Although the audience I am most inspired to work with is youth and young adults, the education I received through YCI fully prepared me to work with clients of all ages. This program delivers instruction and equips its students to enter the field of life-coaching at a fraction of the cost of many less thorough programs, and provides continued collaboration and professional development upon completion of the class. Many life-coach training programs have a primary goal of selling a program; Dr. Leah Mazzola is driven by her passion for equipping life-coaches to make a positive and significant impact on underserved youth, and her work through YCI is accomplishing exactly that.
Amani Bataineh
Amani Bataineh@amanibataineh
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I coach youth out of passion, a sense of purpose and deep conviction that we can all be a light to help each other have more authentically empowered humans in this planet. YCI was the perfect place for me to learn and practice that in the most efficient, structured way possible with a research-base that was the core of our training with Dr. Leah. This training was ideal for me because it combined research and theory with Dr. Leah's passion, purpose and desire to help young people be the best version of themselves. I doubt you can find this mixture anywhere else. If you are passionate about giving youth a safe space to process through a powerful, structured, self-discovery process to reach balance and achieve their potential, YCI is the place for you.
Rhonda Jackson
Rhonda JacksonPresident/Founder of Add VOICE Too
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The classes provided at YCI are phenomenal! Strength-based teaching and coaching methods are two of the foundations of this program I really appreciate. I have gained greater self-awareness to overcome obstacles both personally and professionally through the class demonstrations, practice sessions and feedback. What I appreciated the most about YCI's program is how realistic and practical it is for youth that are at risk, have disabilities, or dealing with the peer pressures of school, home or work.

Life Coach Training Stages 1-2

Certified Youth Transition Coach
$ 1,150* Total USD
  • 42 training hours over 14 weeks
  • Basic coaching skills
  • Training and development in YCI model coaching competencies relevant for youth and emerging adults
  • Intensive practice and supervision
  • 2-3 opportunities for formal supervision and pass/fail feedback
  • Ideal for youth-serving professionals who will be adding coaching skills to their work with youth, but have no interest in independent practice or business building
  • Payment plans are available for a 10% additional fee. Payment plans include a $315 non-refundable registration fee that applies toward your total tuition payment.

Life Coach Training Stages 1-3

Certified Youth Mentor Coach / Certified Youth Leadership Coach
$ 1,650* Total USD
  • 60-63 training hours over 20 weeks
  • Stages 1-2 content + Introduction to additional evidence-based models for coaching contexts
  • Skills for independent practice and business building considerations
  • Final exam (Recorded coaching session submission for evaluation and pass/fail feedback)
  • Ideal for professionals interested in independent coaching practice and business building
  • ICF and CCE approved training hours as follows: International Coach Federation Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (63 hours) - Center for Credentialing Education Approved BCC Training Provider (30 hours)
  • Payment plans are available for a 10% additional fee. Payment plans include a $315 non-refundable registration fee that applies toward your total tuition payment.

ICF Mentor Coaching Group - Stage 4

Group Mentor Coaching for ICF Associate Certified Coach Applicants
$ 750 Total USD - Alumni Rate - $850 Non-Alumni Rate
  • 10 mentor coaching hours with a qualified ICF-credentialed coach
  • 7 hours in group format over five weeks - bi-weekly sessions
  • 3 hours one-on-one with the assigned mentor coach
  • Overviews of ACC competencies in preparation for the ACC evaluation and exam
  • An opportunity to coach a young adult practice client in the group sessions for immediate feedback

CE Only - For Certified Coaches

Coaching Adolescents - Self-study
$ 400 Total USD
  • 16 self-study training hours over 8 weeks
  • Includes one 90-minute video lecture weekly + discussion prompts that account for an additional 30-minutes weekly
  • Coach specific training in evidence-based considerations when coaching adolescent clients, with special attention toward supporting at-risk youth.
  • Coaches will be introduced to biopsychosocial considerations relevant to the adolescent stage of development along with methods for supporting clients through the resource optimization, personal, social, and structural development to enhance chances of successful transitions to adulthood and independence.
  • ICF credential renewal: This course can count as the 16 hours of self-paced study allowed in resource development training for credentialed coaches

Specialization for Certified Coaches

Certified Career Discovery Coach - Self-study
$ 400 Total USD
  • 12 hours of coach-specific training
  • Training to deliver our Career Discovery Coaching Program
  • This program is only available to certified coaches who have completed 60+ hours of ICF- or CCE- approved coach specific training.

Basic Coaching Skills

Video Series - Self-study
$ 1,500 Total USD
  • The complete video series consists of six 30-60 minute modules of instructor-led training with Dr. Mazzola
  • Coaching foundations including, core competencies, ethical guidelines, and professional standards
  • Includes behavioral science research and theory relevant to effective coaching for adolescents

Withdraw/Refund Policy: Trainees may cancel or withdraw from Stages 1-3 training within 7 days following class start date for a pro-rated refund of paid tuition beyond the non-refundable registration fee. Cancellations or withdrawals more than 7 days following class start date result in no refunds or reductions in tuition owed, as trainees must cover the cost of the lost seat.

Questions? Reach out

Established 2013. All rights reserved. Contact:  1(855)809-YOUTH (6884) | Dallas, TX US |