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Making a Difference at School

Posted by ICF Foundation | July 25, 2019 | Comments (1)

Giving the “Gift of Coaching” entails identifying deep needs, forging meaningful partnerships with nonprofit organizations that share our commitment to changing the world, and applying coaching where and how it’s needed most. The ICF Foundation’s Gift of Coaching Awards program celebrates ICF Chapters with impactful pro bono coaching initiatives that make a difference in their communities.

This month, we are looking at 2018 Honorable Mention recipient ICF United Arab Emirates Charter Chapter (ICF UAE).

ICF UAE partnered with Gulf Indian High School (GIHS) to work with 42 students in seventh, eighth, and ninth grade who have learning difficulties.

The coaching program was created to explore the uniqueness of each student and tailor their learning around that, rather than the standard one-size-fits-all educational approach. The program helped students understand and exercise their strengths, which could enhance their performance in their year-end exams. Coaches also supported the special education department during the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) annual inspection. KHDA is responsible for the growth and quality of private education in Dubai.

The GIHS project managers wanted to ensure that they selected coaches who would understand and support the academic setting. They viewed the selection of coaches as very important. They considered prior experience in education and preferred coaches who were credentialed. The pool of coaches they received were mostly coaches working towards their ACC.

The coaching program included pre- and post-assessments on self-perception, which helped students better understand their motivation drivers. The School’s most important measure of success was that all participating students passed their year-end exams. As a result of the coaching initiative, the school inspection by KHDA rated the department one level higher than the previous year. Additional improvements included:

  • Students self-perception ratings increased by 25%
  • Students felt better about themselves and their abilities
  • Parents of these students had an increased understanding of their child

GIHS noted that the coaching initiative with ICF UAE enabled powerful and heart-filled change, which can help move education into the future.

The ICF Foundation presented ICF UAE with the award at the 2019 ICF Global Leaders Forum in Dublin, Ireland, on March 22, 2019.

The Gift of Coaching Awards program celebrates ICF Chapters with impactful pro bono coaching initiatives that make a difference in their communities and the world. The Gift of Coaching Awards program represents the mission of the Foundation, intended to leverage the excellent work ICF Chapters are already doing to increase awareness of and better their communities through professional coaching. If you would like to learn more about the Gift of Coaching Awards, visit or participate in the “Preparing Your Gift of Coaching Application” webinar on September 3.

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ICF Foundation

Established in 2004, the ICF Foundation exists to promote social progress through pro bono coaching, training and research. While a separate nonprofit entity from the International Coach Federation, the ICF Foundation is bonded in relationship with ICF Global to continue moving forward in igniting social progress. The Ignite: Engaging Humanity Through Education initiative is part of the ICF Foundation’s long-term strategy to advance social progress through coaching by aligning with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. To learn more or to get involved with Ignite, please contact Ignite: Program Director Stephanie Keally at  

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (1)

  1. says:

    Great ideas, great initiatives.
    Thank you ICF Foundation and ICF United Arab Emirates Charter Chapter for sharing this great story

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