Hi! My name is Michele Widd and I founded GoalSpark because I love working with young people and helping them to tap into their incredible creativity! I moved around a lot while growing up, spending most of my childhood and adolescence in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and France before returning to the U.S. to go to college. After earning my master’s degree, I began my career as a chemist, but eventually moved into the field of international marketing and relocated overseas yet again. I eventually married and started a family only to lose my husband to cancer when my son was just a few years old. As a widowed single parent I felt a strong need to be present and available for my son, so I made the decision to leave the pressures and schedules of a corporate job behind and began teaching. Today, with my son successfully out of college and thriving, I am changing paths again. I am thrilled to be working with teens and young adults once more, but this time as a personal life coach! When I am not working I enjoy SCUBA diving, playing guitar, theatre, and volunteering my time with SOL International Foundation, a non-profit, community-based group that provides programs to promote education and increase the quality of life for youth on the island of Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras.
I bring 11 years of experience as a Montessori middle school educator to my coaching practice. My approach is heavily influenced by Maria Montessori’s belief in the importance of “valorization” – a term she coined to describe the process that adolescents must go through to fully integrate a more mature identity with a sense of being able to succeed in life by their own efforts. In practical terms it manifests as: joy, confidence, good judgement, dignity, optimism, self-discipline, initiative, independence, selflessness, helpfulness, and the ability to work with others.
The skills needed to coach toward valorization reside in my ongoing training as an Academic Life Coach through Coach Training EDU, a highly respected, global coach training organization whose programs are accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Other Credentials and Training: B.S. & M.S. in Chemistry; Lower Elementary Montessori Certification (NAMC); Positive Parenting (Amy McCready); Teaching Mindfulness to Children (Omega Institute); Facilitating Grief Support Groups For Youth & Young Adults (The Dougy Center – Summer Institute)