Sequilla McLean (far left) and Ivry Cheeks (left) are RCC’s new Career Coaches. They will provide outreach to four county high schools.
Meet our Career Coaches By Felicia Barlow Think back for a moment. What do you remember about high school? It’s often easy for us to forget just how tough that time of life can be. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a little extra guidance during those four years? Now, some local high school students will have just that, thanks to Randolph Community College’s new “Career Coaches.” Ivry Cheeks and Sequilla McLean split their time between four high schools and RCC. You may ask why do they each only have two high schools? This is just the beginning of a grant-based project that we hope can expand to all local high schools in the near future. For now, Ivry focuses on Southwestern Randolph and Asheboro high schools. Sequilla has Trinity and Eastern Randolph high schools. Both Ivry and Sequilla come from an education background. Ivry started teaching nearly 25 years ago and eventually worked her way into school administration. She served as assistant principal and principal. Ivry earned her master’s degree in counseling and will finish her doctorate in the spring of 2017. Ivry says being a high school Career Coach utilizes her counseling background and also gives her a chance to interact closely with students. As a school administrator, Ivry says, “the only time I had contact with students was for disciplinary concerns.” Now she gets one-on-one interaction and says she really enjoys learning about students’ hopes and dreams. As Career Coaches, Ivry and Sequilla take those hopes and dreams and guide students along a viable path for their future. They are often able to broaden horizons and
If You COACH Them, They Will Come. introduce potential careers that some may have never considered before. Ivry says, “It’s exciting to see so many kids who want more information” and who are eager to get ahead academically. Sequilla says she knew from an early age that she wanted to help people. She started mentoring her peers in middle school and has volunteered at many after-school programs over the years. Sequilla began her professional career in public healthcare education. She says she enjoyed some aspects of that job but something was missing. After earning her master’s degree in business, Sequilla decided to become a lateral entry teacher. She says she truly enjoyed teaching but when she got engaged, she knew she needed to be closer to her fiancé. He works in High Point and Sequilla graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, so coming back to the Piedmont was an exciting prospect. She says initially she searched for classroom jobs but she says it was her Godmother who pushed her to take a closer look at being a Career Coach. Sequilla says she “took a leap of faith…and I love it!” She says it truly is the best of both worlds. She still gets to interact with the children but also gets to be a resource for them. Sequilla says being a Career Coach “has been everything and more!” Sequilla and Ivry say the response from parents and students has been very positive. Right now, the Career Coach program is grant funded and considered temporary. However, the Coaches hope they will become long-term, permanent parts of RCC and helping its students.
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