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Success Spotlights

Shaping Success: Spotlighting Success Coach Kenneisha Willis

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

Updated January 29, 2024. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Kenneisha Willis, Concorde Success Coach

"The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it." 

This quote by motivational speaker Jordan Belfort resonates deeply with Kenneisha Willis, a Success Coach at Concorde Career College. An Army veteran who served for 12 years and holds two master's degrees after being raised in a single-parent home, Kenneisha knows a thing or two about asking herself "Could I?" and discovering the answer to be YES.

What a Concorde Success Coach Does

A Concorde Success Coach serves as a guiding light for students navigating the sometimes-choppy waters of learning at the college level.

Kenneisha said, "A Success Coach is challenged to multitask constantly as a teacher, guide, coach, minister, therapist, academic dean, technical help desk support and person of trust. One must genuinely care about people. You can't fake it either; you either care or you don't. If you try to fake it, a person has a gut instinct about that."

She added, "An Online Success Coach comes into contact with people from different walks of life and must know how to relate to each."

Success Coaches need to understand, empathize, and relate to each student's unique journey. Patience is a virtue, and in Kenneisha's case, it's also a job requirement.

Kenneisha keeps a weekly printout of students' grades and monitors them, making a point to call students who have good grades and tell them "Good job!" She says, "This helps me to start the conversation in getting to know them. I learn their names and take notes about my contact with them. When I see a drastic change in grades, I'll reach out and ask what's going on. If I've earned their trust, they'll tell me."

This is when Kenneisha's patience pays off. Often, that's when she can offer the kind of guidance that changes lives.

The Job Kenneisha DIDN'T Apply For

Kenneisha moved back to Memphis to be closer to family as her mother is battling cancer. Her two sisters are nurses, and while Kenneisha was looking for a full-time job after the move, she considered going back to school to become one herself.

Her visit to the Concorde campus and chat with Admissions Rep. Lisa Nelson about beginning a nursing program led to a discussion about Kenneisha's background, including work at a community college helping students succeed.

Kenneisha shared, "That led to Lisa introducing me to the Director of Operations Cornelius Clark, and after our conversation, he asked me to go online and apply for this position." A phone interview and invitation to campus followed. When she told her mother about this, her mom responded, "If it's for you, it's going to be a smooth transition. Because God is not the author of confusion." 

Later, when Kenneisha went to her meeting on campus, she was brought to Campus President Tommy Stewart. Kenneisha said, "We had a great conversation and I was introduced to members of the team. I did not apply for this job. It found me."

This experience is another life lesson that Kenneisha is driven to offer as encouragement to students. Kenneisha asserts, "Your mission is your mission. You don't have to be someone you are not. What's for you is for you. Do the work and everything is going to come. And since I've been walking in that belief, that's what's been happening."

A Family Environment With Core Values

Concorde's core values of integrity, respect for the individual, customer service, teamwork, and achievement remind Kenneisha of what was instilled in her in the military, and she treasures this focus. She also loves how the campus is like a family, where people have a vested interest in getting to know each other.

For Kenneisha, Concorde's words and actions revolve around helping students realize they have the power to shape their own lives. They have the choice to either submit to a system that leaves them dependent and purposeless or strive for something better by investing in improving themselves.

Kenneisha sees part of her job as making students aware of the resources available to help them achieve a fulfilling life. Being entrusted with what a student is struggling with enables Kenneisha to connect them to Concorde's Student Services.

Keneisha said, "I couldn't go to bed and lay down if I wasn't giving my all. I wouldn't be able to think about it because we are dealing with lives. This service is more than getting a student enrolled and giving them a certificate when they're done. We're changing lives."

Get Uncomfortable

Kenneisha believes that one of the best things that can happen in life is being thrown into an uncomfortable situation. Kenneisha said, "You get so much when you're uncomfortable. You get perseverance, wisdom, patience and understanding. Because that's when you must move, make a change. When you're comfortable, you're not gonna move from where you are in life, you're comfortable. Being uncomfortable in a life situation will challenge you to move and to dream. This process shows you a lot about your life, and it also produces those chapters you can look back on and say, 'Hey, I know that time I went through this. I know what I'm gonna do differently this time.' You also have a feeling of certainty about the light at the end of the tunnel that's coming -- the closer you move to it."

Life's challenges can be overwhelming to the point that one is unable to see any possible solutions. When students have entrusted Kenneisha with information about how they're struggling, some have been on the verge of quitting school. Some have been on the verge of quitting life. 

Concorde graduate Ramone R. was facing the issue of needing to succeed in one final paper. When Kenneisha reached out to him, he shared the struggles he’d been going through. He was dealing with heartache, car issues and trying to get by on very little.

After Kenneisha's encouragement, Ramone went on to earn 199 points out of 200 on his paper. Right after graduation, he received a contract job as a neurodiagnostic technologist. Kenneisha knows this because he made a special trip to share the news. He thanked her saying, "you just believed in me."

Kenneisha shared, "I'm so proud of him. Because he considered quitting, and I said, you can't. The easiest thing for us to do is quit. You'll never experience the result of persevering towards your goals and experiencing the feeling of knowing you can achieve the great challenges you set for yourself. Keep going." Helping others succeed excites Kenneisha, and the knowledge of helping a person change their life for the better makes her feel that she is succeeding in her mission.

"We are either entering a storm, moving through it or coming out of one. What it comes down to is how we are dealing with it. If the worst storms I went through are now the gift that helps me keep others from being wrecked in the storm they're weathering, I know my purpose has been fulfilled. I become even more grateful for every trial I persevered through," Kenneisha said.

Next Steps?

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  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.