“We work together for every student’s success, creating a community of resources and encouragement. It takes a village to support our students!”
And a village is what Academic Coach Nathaly Zepeda found at Career Online High School (COHS).
Zepeda joined COHS in 2021, bringing strengths in language and a passion for helping students achieve their goals and overcome their fears.
“Every Academic Coach brings unique talents, backgrounds, and skillsets that they can leverage and share with the team,” she explained.
“I can lean on my fellow COHS coaches and Academic Support Instructors when a student of mine has a specific area of need. I admit, I’m not a math whiz. So if one of my students is struggling, I put them in touch with a Math Academic Support Instructor or share other resources to ensure they get the additional help they need.”
“It’s all about the students,” Zepeda said. “Returning to a learning environment as an adult—getting back to being a student—can trigger past trauma. My goal is for students to know that I’m here—we’re all here—to help them work through it.”
From elementary to college to finding her sweet spot at COHS
Now a certified teacher, Zepeda first discovered her passion for helping students succeed working in an elementary after-school setting.
“I found that I had a way of getting through to students and that motivated me to keep on this path, of guiding and encouraging others to pursue their goals in spite of obstacles,” she said.
She went on to work with college students, and then with at-risk youth at a nonprofit organization.
“There I learned that every student is unique—and every student is capable of reaching their goals with a combination of abundant encouragement and endless determination,” she explained.
Meeting adult students where they are (hint: they’re online)
Personalized academic support is just one of the reasons Zepeda felt compelled to join COHS.
“In today’s world, with technology ever advancing, COHS offers a truly viable option for adults who want to earn their high school diploma, but can’t attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school,” she shared.
Zepeda values the program’s online accessibility, as well as the flexibility students have to complete coursework on their own time and schedule.
“I wholeheartedly believe in our mission,” she said. “I tell my students, as long as you do the work, you’ll get through it. And in the meantime, I’m here to lend an ear when you’re struggling—whether it’s with a specific course, a specific subject, or life in general. We’re in this together.”