Priscila Dieguez is a Career Coach for Workforce Solutions at Kellogg Community College. She coaches students in the Innovative Accelerated Credentialed Training (iACT) program. iACT offers free accelerated training to prepare adults for the workforce in the manufacturing and nursing fields.
Priscila is a licensed mental health therapist and has worked in the field for over 20 years. Prior to being a career coach, she worked with senior citizens to help them get the resources they needed. Priscila says the career coach role is totally different, but she likes it because it’s hands-on. Plus, she can really connect to the students.
A Culture of Vitality
As a career coach for iACT, Priscila recruits students for the program. She also supports and provides resources to them while they are in the program and follows up with them after graduation to see how they are utilizing their training.
The coaches also try to help remove barriers for students so that they can focus on their studies and receive their certification from the program. From food assistance to transportation, the career coaches try to do what they can to help the students succeed.
Priscila believes this program is a way to really invest in people in the community. Students are trained to have the skills they need to be hired locally. This contributes to the overall success of Battle Creek businesses and our community.
Priscila also says the program is a way for students to invest in themselves. It is a stepping stone that opens doors and gives students an opportunity to shape their own future.
In addition to the job training, iACT includes a resume building and interview skills course. The program then helps connect students to employers to get job opportunities. iACT even provides students with professional clothing for interviews if it’s needed.
Keeping the Momentum Going
Priscila hopes the grant-funded program will continue, and she wants to keep helping students believe in themselves.
The students earn college credit in the iACT program and after graduation, some continue in their pursuit of furthering their education.
“The other day, we were on the main campus and I saw one of the girls [from the program] and she’s continuing to study nursing. She was going to class and we stopped to chat, and she said, ‘Thank you for everything because now I have a great foundation for my classes,’” Priscila said.
The Best Part
Priscila loves to see the progress the students make over the course of the program. She says some students come into the program timid and unsure of themselves. According to Priscila, the best part is “giving them the opportunity and seeing them kind of blossom…assisting them not only academically, but also giving them the emotional support that they need.” Her biggest reward is knowing she is making a difference in people’s lives.
Priscila is originally from Argentina and has lived in Battle Creek for thirteen years. She said the best part about Battle Creek is that it’s a caring community that is made up of so many nationalities. Even though she wasn’t born and raised here, she says she doesn’t feel like an outsider and feels like she belongs.
to apply to the iACT program.
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