- November 11, 2020
Winter Garden resident Jessica Villegas uses her tough life experiences to educate and empower others.
What started as a passion for coaching and mentoring young people now has turned into a successful and essential business in the community.
It was in watching individuals become more self-aware, develop growth mindsets and achieve success that Hi-Lite Coaching and Consulting was born.
“I was a teenager (who) was really lost at one point in my life,” Villegas said. “It took me 365 college credits for me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, because I just didn’t know. I didn’t have the resources or the people challenging me or supporting me in finding out who I was or what I wanted.”
And now, two years removed from the shut downs — and shut ins — caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems Villegas’ expertise is needed more than ever.
EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC
The road to Hi-Lite began in August 2020, when Villegas’ job in AV logistics was eliminated.
As a victim of circumstance herself, Villegas now has turned her attention to the demographic perhaps most affected by the response to the pandemic — children.
In 2022, teenagers and young adults are experiencing side effects from isolation and lack of socialization, she said.
“They became paralyzed, because there’s so much information out there, you have access to so many things, yet you have been kept from, because of the pandemic,” Villegas said. “I see so much social anxiety, performance anxiety, feelings of failure, limiting beliefs. … But I think the social piece has had the biggest impact on young people’s confidence and their self-esteem.”
Without feedback — whether it be good or bad — for nearly two years in a social environment, developing teens and young children are feeling destabilized.
“They haven’t been able to go out and see the world, much less interact with it, so how can we expect them to know how to deal with it?” Villegas asked. “I think we are going to start seeing more of the mental health side of things.”
Villegas predicts that in the next few years, the community will see higher spikes of depression, violence, suicide, and alcohol and drug use.
Villegas said sometimes a client works best when paired with both a coach and therapist. She said she has clients who do both and some who only need the coaching.
“Young people are resilient, so they will figure it out, but it’s going to take time and guidance,” she said.
Villegas recently launched her newest services, which include cohorts and workshops.
Designed for high school students, the cohorts will meet together weekly for 90-minute sessions to discuss values, mission vision statements, systems of success, goal mapping and more.
The workshops will include five pre-recorded sessions with worksheets, supportive materials and weekly virtual collaboration opportunities with a coach.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Villegas was born to young parents and grew up in a single-parent household in a small town in South Carolina.
She said she lacked stability, had a shortage of positive role models and witnessed many poor decisions being made around her which did not align with her own hopes and goals for the future.
After graduating high school, she decided to make a change. She moved to Orlando to complete her associate’s degree.
Villegas spent 13 years in the hospitality industry, seven in supply-chain management. In her early 30s, as a single mother, she completed her bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and leadership studies at the University of Central Florida.
As she realized she had accomplished a lot and overcome many of the challenges in her life, she got to work and implemented tight systems, structure and discipline for herself. She said as she naturally gravitated toward healthier decisions, her social life and career improved.
Today, as a certified academic life coach through Coach Training EDU, Villegas owns and operates Hi-Lite Coaching and Consulting.
“I’ve always had a heart for community and helping others, specifically young people,” Villegas said.
She said Hi-Lite places an emphasis on values such as integrity, humility, taking ownership, being resilient and practicing grace. The fully comprehensive programs follow an ETA structure — Empower, Transform and Achieve.
“It isn’t about what my experience is and how I can share that with you, it’s about helping others advocate for themselves,” Villegas said. “We are exploring and empowering the client to take control of the direction of their life.”
HI-LITE COACHING AND CONSULTING
Website: Click here
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (321) 236-2053