I’m a facilitator and trainer with a creative arts background, who has been designing and implementing innovative programming, including anti-racist and queer-centered trainings, in the youth development world. I started working with young people because of my passion for fostering potential, my desire to make a positive impact, and my love of connection, and these same values have led me to coaching.
I am currently enrolled in a coach training and certification program, and I need your help.
Last year, I took a huge risk and left my job without a safety net. I knew I was ready to reinvent myself, but first I needed time and space to heal. During this time of reflection, research, and exploration, I found coaching. The first program I found immediately resonated, but I had no idea how I was going to pay for it. In spite of this, I decided to take another leap of faith and enroll. I’m so thankful I did because I have been profoundly changed through my enrollment. During our first time practicing coaching in pairs, I felt so alive and in my element. By the end of the first training, I felt like a whole new person, or as a colleague encouraged me to see: I was just more me. Each training continues to surprise, challenge, delight, and transform me.
I’ve always been curious about the way people work and why we do what we do. It’s been so exciting to discover how many of my skills and interests coaching combines: facilitation, training, movement, creativity, holding and creating space, relationship-building, play, personal development, and vulnerability. It's clear that coaching is one of the gifts I'm meant to offer.
WHAT IS COACHING
Coaching is not about someone telling you what to do; it’s about someone holding space and supporting you in finding the answers within. A coach will lovingly challenge you, remind you of your brilliance, cheer you on, hold you accountable, and be with you wherever you are. It sounds simple, and it’s powerful; particularly because we live in a world which conditions us to look outside of ourselves for answers. Coaching challenges this narrative by utilizing the power of intuition. Cultivating our intuitions in a culture that discredits this resource is a radical act and is essential to creating a world where each of us can thrive.
Accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Coaches Training International (CTI) is one of the oldest and most well-respected coaching programs in the world. The program consists of 5 three-day, in-person trainings followed by 6 months of certification. For more information, check out CTI’s website: http://www.coactive.com/coach-training
Continuing on with this program has meant relying on credit cards, a resource I’m fortunate to have access to. This privilege helped me begin this incredible journey, but it can’t see me through to the program’s completion. This is where I hope your help will come in.
For this program, there are no scholarships. The field of coaching is predominantly white, cisgender, straight, and wealthy, and no priority is given to making this program financially accessible to people with marginalized identities.
$11,140 Cost of the program
+ $ 2,000 CTI's estimated cost for hiring a coach*
$13,140 Total program cost
* a requirement for Certification
All funds raised will go directly to these costs.
By donating to this campaign, you are supporting a queer woman break into the coaching world and become a first-time business-owner.
The impact of your investment is even bigger than that! You will help to make coaching financially accessible as a resource to people with marginalized identities, as this will be a priority of my practice. Furthermore, my social justice analysis is unique in the coaching field. I name and recognize when external and internalized oppression are at play in my sessions, bringing a more holistic perspective to whatever my clients are navigating.
My hope is that this training will be a seed that harvests something even greater than my own practice. I want to be a part of shifting the coaching field to be more diverse and inclusive, not only in terms of demographics (by advocating for scholarships) but also the culture (by providing and advocating for trainings). By gaining my certification, I will be on the path to becoming a CTI Trainer. The world needs our highest selves right now, and coaching is a powerful tool for this. In order to create systemic change, it cannot just be privileged identities who are coaching as well as receiving the benefits of being coached.
Our societal systems want us to believe that we have to do everything on our own, that we are weak if we ask for help, especially for money. But I call BS and am challenging that narrative within myself. How powerful is it to support the people we care about? To support people who are doing work we believe in? To support people who are working to create a just, equitable, and joyful world? This is why I was finally able to create this page.
Our work is bigger than us. Independence all too often leads to isolation. I want to live in a world that is interconnected, a beautiful and dazzling web of support and complexity. That web is only as strong as how much we each let ourselves shine. Take up space. Be our full, authentic selves. When we each do this, we do not take away space from others, instead we create more space for all of us to live and love and be big.
Let’s all be BIG and SHINE.
The first time I worked with Mercedes I had just finished a talk therapy session and was feeling overwhelmed by my thoughts and like I needed to take a step back from that type of self-work. I'm already an extremely heady person and could tell I was feeling stuck and not like I had any productive forward movement. Mercedes took me out to the park in the sunshine, and immediately even her demeanor was making me feel better. She was excited and confident that we would be able to work together, which made me feel more confident that I'd be able to do it.
Immediately I felt like this session was different, because every time I started to go into my head, Mercedes pulled me back out. She has a unique ability to make you feel like you can share what you're really feeling in your body, not just thinking in your head. When I would start talking about something that I clearly felt strongly connected to, she would point out how my body language had changed, and then I would realize that I was not just thinking something but truly embodying it.
Simply by calling attention to my own demeanor, and encouraging me to push past my edges in a safe way, she helped me do more visualizing and embodied feeling of my wants, needs, and true self than I typically am able to do. Mercedes is somebody who believes in vulnerability, honesty, and growth and all of those things come through brilliantly in her coaching.
A tool from one of CTI's trainings.
Mercedes is a fantastic coach! She immediately made me feel at ease and that she was 'in the moment' with me. She is a fantastic listener and quickly builds rapport and relationship. I always walk away from our sessions feeling both at peace and energized. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
It was a pleasure working with Mercedes. Her ability to be totally 'present' to what I was experiencing, helped me to gain valuable insights on what is getting in the way of my success. She is a very thoughtful and intuitive coach.
Those of us who have had the honor to be coached by Mercedes know that she brings a level of awareness, compassion and empathy to her clients that helps them get grounded in who they are so they are able to move forward as their best selves.
I had an opportunity to be coached by Mercedes in the CTI coaching program and the results were profound. Through powerful questions, intuition and insight, Mercedes was able to help me get to the crux of what was blocking me on a particular issue and find a way through towards my goal. In the process, I stayed true to who I am as a person, professional and leader and constructed a plan of action that helped me move forward while staying in integrity with my values and purpose.
Mercedes is a skilled coach, able to establish a deep connection with her clients almost immediately. Her friendly, accepting presence creates an environment of safety and trust in which I was able to express my thoughts and feelings freely and without fear of judgement or bias. Trust is the beating heart of coaching and Mercedes’ authenticity and openness about who she is makes it safe for clients to reveal themselves. Mercedes also has a wicked sense of humor and is just plain fun to work with.
Mercedes is such a natural at coaching and makes the entire process seamless and effortless. For those of you who are considering supporting Mercedes in her coach training and certification journey, I humbly encourage you to do so. Know that she is one person who will no doubt make the world a better place by the work she does and the person she will become at the end of this path.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Having my communities’ support in this process would be an incredible, inspiring, and humbling gift. Your support in any amount would mean the world to me, and I believe your gift will have an impact that is far greater than myself and my practice. Let's change the world together!
Please help me get the word out by posting my link to your social media accounts and sharing it with your communities! Thank you!
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