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 has now grown into a successful and essential business in the community.
It was watching individuals become more confident, develop growth mindsets, and achieve success 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 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 to challenge me or help me figure out who I was or what I wanted.”
And now, two years after the shutdowns – and shutdowns – caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems Villegas’ expertise is needed more than ever.
EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC
The journey to Hi-Lite began in August 2020 when Villegas’ job in AV logistics was eliminated.
Victim of circumstances, Villegas has now turned her attention to the demographic that may be hardest hit by the pandemic response – children.
In 2022, teens and young adults are experiencing side effects from isolation and lack of socialization, she said.
“You’ve been paralyzed because there’s so much information out there, you have access to so much stuff, but you’ve been put off because of the pandemic,” Villegas said. “I see so much social anxiety, performance anxiety, feelings of failure, limiting beliefs. … But I think the social part has the biggest impact on young people’s confidence and self-esteem.”
Without feedback – good or bad – for almost two years in a social setting, teenagers and toddlers feel developmentally destabilized.
“They weren’t able to go out and see the world, let alone interact with it. So how can we expect them to know how to use it?” asked Villegas. “I think we’re going to start to see more from the mental health side.”
Villegas predicts the community will see higher increases in depression, violence, suicide, and alcohol and drug use over the next few years.
Villegas said sometimes a client works best when working with both a coach and a therapist. She said she has clients who do both and some who just need the coaching.
“Young people are resilient, so they will figure it out, but it will take time and guidance,” she said.
Villegas recently launched their newest services which include cohorts and workshops.
Designed for high school students, the cohorts meet weekly for 90-minute sessions to discuss values, mission statements, systems for success, goal setting, and more.
The workshops include five pre-recorded sessions with worksheets, supporting materials, and weekly virtual collaboration opportunities with a coach.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Born to young parents, Villegas grew up in a small town in South Carolina in a single-parent household.
She said she lacked stability, lacked positive role models, and had witnessed many bad decisions being made around her that did not align with her own hopes and aspirations for the future.
After graduating from high school, she decided to make a change. She moved to Orlando to earn her associate’s degree.
Villegas worked in the hotel industry for 13 years, seven of them 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.
Realizing that she had achieved a lot and overcome many of the challenges in her life, she set to work and implemented tight systems, structure and discipline for herself. She said as she was naturally drawn to healthier choices, 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 for helping others, especially young people,” Villegas said.
She said that Hi-Lite values values such as integrity, humility, personal responsibility, resilience and the practice of grace. The fully comprehensive programs follow an ETA structure – Empower, Transform and Achieve.
“It’s not about what my experience is and how to share it with you, it’s about helping others stand up for themselves,” Villegas said. “We explore and empower the client to take the direction of their life into their own hands.”
HI-LITE COACHING AND CONSULTING
Website: Click here
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (321) 236-2053
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