April 2021: KY College Coach Spotlight
KY College Coach
Anderson County High School
Nellesha Murray – soon to be Nellesha Logan (6/12/21) – is serving as a Kentucky College Coach (KCC) in Lawrenceburg, KY at Anderson County High School (ACHS).
First, she wanted to brag on the school’s Lady Bearcat basketball team for making it to the final for the KHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament this year.
“We, at ACHS, are SO proud of you guys for your dedication and determination to the sport,” Murray said.
ACHS is an average-sized school – very similar to the high school that she attended – so she felt pretty comfortable from the start. She described the atmosphere as “pretty chill.”
“Everyone is laid back and lets you do your business that you need to do,” explained Murray. “Whenever I needed help, I knew I could walk down the hall, call, or send a text to one of our counselors, and they would always help me or find a way to help.”
She always strives to do the same – either by helping a student in need or finding someone else to assist. Another thing that Murray admired in her colleagues was their level of understanding of other people, herself included. “I am usually hesitant to come out to people as LGBTQ+, but the comfort that they extended to me from the start made me feel safe enough to tell them and be myself,” she reflected. “So, a little about where I’m serving can be simply put as amazing.”
An impact story from her experience as a College Coaches is a meaningful conversation with a sophomore student. “She came into my office pretty anxious and worried about her future and what she wanted to do,” Murray said. “She knew there were opportunities available to her as a sophomore, soon to be rising junior and the rest of her high school career.”
She recalled that they talked for quite a long time – more than an hour – about those opportunities. The student had many interests that they wrote down, researching positions that would align people with those interests. They also did a few personality quizzes to find her personality type and things of that sort. Once they found a few jobs/careers that she seemed interested in, they looked up colleges and universities that had those programs, leading them to find even more intriguing programs.
They also looked into careers that do not require a college degree for other options. “She was really interested in the Governors Scholar Program that will be available to her as a rising senior,” Murray reflected.
She helped the student gather the required documents needed to be better prepared when the application opened.
“By the end of our conversation, she felt much better about the path she wanted to take in life. While I didn’t help her with the biggest decision of choosing a college, a program, and helping her apply to the school and the FAFSA, I feel as though I really helped her realize what she wanted to do after high school. And even if she changes her mind, she now knows a way to layout her options and make a decision,” Murray said. “I feel that that is a great tool to have.”
Her experience as a Kentucky College Coach at Anderson County High School has been nothing short of exceptional. “The staff members are warm, welcoming, and accepting,” she shared. “These are great qualities to have in your work family.”
When she was having a bad or off day, she knew she could walk by them and they would notice. “We would usually end up having a conversation that brightened and changed my day for the better,” Murray said. “My advice would be to really get to know your work family; you are going to be around them A LOT.”
It was also apparent that during COVID-19, she was around her team a lot less because of non-traditional learning (NTI). She recommends that College Coaches get to know their co-workers; not being afraid to stand out and go the extra mile. By going that extra mile, Coaches might help students with the hard decisions they face.”
Murray concluded, “As a KCC, we are dedicated to serving our students and helping them be college and career-ready citizens – so go that extra mile.”