Jennifer Fong, M.Ed.
Life Design Coach
Address: 314 McLeod Hall
Hello and Welcome! I remember feeling overwhelmed, confused, excited, and sometimes like an outsider when I started my college experience. If you feel this way, or just have questions, come in and see me. I would be honored to help you design a college experience that reflects you and helps you achieve the college and life goals you envision for yourself! I will support you while you experience new opportunities, ask questions about yourself, and find out what you value, as you engage in the life design process. We will work together to overcome obstacles and celebrate your wins! - Jen
Jen’s life is defined by her persistence, adaptability, selflessness, and ability to embrace the process. A Toledo Native, Jen always knew she wanted to be in education ever since she played teacher with her friends when she was 4 years old. This passion for education culminated in becoming a first-generation college student and earning her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, which led her to being a 3rd and 6th grade teacher for many years. When she became a mother, Jen needed to reframe and embraced motherhood for a few years. However, Jen still yearned to help others and became a volunteer at the Toledo Zoo, which turned into a full-time job as assistant curator of education; her love of learning persisted and led to the development of a pre-school program at the zoo. Jen furthered her own education by completing a master's program at Lourdes University and directing the Upward Bound program at Eastern Michigan University. In her classrooms, she wants to make sure everyone is represented and seen, whether that be having some time after class to talk or having a fully stocked bookshelf where every student can find a book that makes them feel seen. Jen has always looked for a way to help others, whether they be friends or strangers. She believes in the power of standing up for oneself, but also using that strength to lift others up with her. Through Life Design, Jen will continue to help others up.
As a Life Design Coach, Jen can combine all of her skills as an educator and helper with a healthy balance of coaching and teaching. She wants to work with students to help shape their educational story. When she was a first-generation college student, she encountered many obstacles and found it was a difficult journey to navigate, which led to her coping with imposter syndrome and struggling to figure things out on her own. As a coach, she will ensure that none of her students feel this way and will champion them and guide them through their obstacles by imparting them with the knowledge that they are not alone and have proper support.
Jen’s two favorite Life Design tools are the Empathy Map and Wayfinding Pathways. Through the Empathy Map, Jen gets to help students connect with themselves as well as with others, which is so crucial at this time of students’ lives. She does not want students to live in their own bubble and be stuck; if everyone in the world had a little more empathy, it would be a better and more inclusive space. Through Wayfinding Pathways, Jen wants to unlock the idea that students have more than just one life in them and that there is not just one right path moving forward. Jen connected with this personally because of her own experiences in education and in exploring careers. She wants to use this tool to help students explore themselves and their future by considering their value, where they are now, where they want to be, and how to get there sooner.
As a teacher, students can expect Jen to be open to discussions and that we all have something to teach others. In Jen’s classroom, she is not the only purveyor of knowledge and wants students to have a voice. She strongly believes in student choice and giving students the chance to take ownership of the class in order to build a community of learners where everyone is comfortable. Her classroom environment will be comfortable, supportive, inclusive, and empathetic for everyone. As a coach, Jen will work hard to help students get to where they want to go. Her coaching space does not include “should-ing;” instead, she wants students to take an active role in coaching sessions. She will be the supporter for students that she wishes she had during her college experience. Jen's advice for college students is to understand they do not have to have it all figured out and encourages students to explore different opportunities on and off campus. College is a time to figure out what you do and do not like; it is also an opportunity to be mindful and find ways to make meaning for yourself rather than just viewing college as a checklist. She wants students to invest in themselves, say yes to things even when they don’t know what they are doing, and fail forward. Just know that when you need that encouragement and support, Jen is there to cheer you on.
- Toledo, OH
Majors / Degrees
University of Toledo = Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Lourdes College = Master of Education in Curriculum & Teaching
Professional Experiences / Certification
Classroom Teacher at Toledo School of the Arts and St. Rose School
Director of the Eastern Michigan University Upward Bound program
Director for the Center for Professional Studies at Lourdes University
Assistant curator of Education at the Toledo Zoological Society
Interests Outside of Work
- Reading, writing (from academic to narrative fiction), baking/cooking, needlework (cross stitch and embroidery), and travelling.
Words to live by
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” -Shirley Chisholm
Updated: 08/16/2023 10:53AM