Hi moms! Today is an interview day. I’m so excited to share this interview I did with my friend Mr. Joshua Hays.
But first, I want to read you the Review of the Week. This is from Utah Fan and this mom said, “The podcast world needed this podcast. I love the short episodes and the examples and tools shared. I wish it had been around when I was raising my four boys, but I am finding it so helpful and inspiring with my youngest a teenager still living at home.” Thank you so much to those of you who are rating me and leaving me reviews. It not only makes people find me easier, but also helps me know how I’m doing for all of you listeners. So, if you could please take a minute to go rate me and leave me a review that would be so much appreciated.
So today I’m excited to share with you this interview I did with my friend Mr. Joshua Hays. He has a master’s degree in education and is also the CEO of ABC Guidance. He does educational consulting, and he specializes in working with teens, especially teens who may need a little extra guidance staying on track with their schoolwork so they can graduate. He works with them on career skills, organizational skills, counsels them as needed, and just helps prepare them for life.

I wanted to bring Joshua on because I love how he uses college classes to get kids who need more credits in high school and sometimes more direction graduated on time and with a ton more confidence in themselves. As many of you know, I have a course that guides you through how to do this college classes in high school thing for your child. And the thing is, it’s not just for the straight A students, this works for even average students. So, if your child has a 2.0 or higher in high school, this can work for you. And to those of you who are not to the stage yet with teenagers in high school, don’t worry because I will be back next week with more helpful parenting tips for all ages. And once again, thank you so much for listening.
Heather: Okay! I am here today with my good friend and colleague, Joshua Hays. He is an educational consultant with his company ABC Guidance. Joshua, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Joshua: Hey, Heather. Thank you so much for having me on. I know that we have worked with each other before and we’re so passionate about education, so I thank you for this opportunity. My name is Joshua Hays. I am the founder and creator of ABC Guidance. The purpose of ABC Guidance was to map out a proper pathway for students to be successful in their educational and career journey, letting it all intertwine and correlate with each other. My background–I have a few degrees—it didn’t always start out that I was going to go into education. My undergraduate bachelors is in Business Management and I dual majored in Communication. I love communication, and communicating with people, so that really helped out. My master’s in education with the emphasis of school counselor. I love psychology, I did an emphasis heavy on psychology, so my doctorate is in social psychology, but because I ran out of funds, I didn’t quite get to the dissertation part so I can’t give myself that label. But I do have a PPS credential that I operate with within my nonprofit. So, I’m trying to apply my education, as well as my experience, to help people and students succeed in their journey.
Heather: Yes! I love what you do. Now tell us a little bit more of why a parent would come to you and want you to work with their high school student.
Joshua: Okay, so what’s interesting is, from my past experience and growing up, high school and even in the early stages of junior high, it can be very confusing of what pathway is best for that student. I’ve seen numerous pathways and, in my experience, when I went back to do my masters, I had to dive into the education field and figure out the systematic effect that would best help the individual student, and I found out a number of things within education. So, I took everything I’ve learned and created a system in which I will work with a student one on one and work with their families to best map out a pathway that is specific to their learning style and their experiences and their culture.
So, we give them all the resources possible, so it fulfills their individual needs when coming to education and their career choice. And then applying that education to the massive amount of their life application.
Heather: Okay, so at what point does a mom decide that she needs her child to work with you?
Joshua: So, I love my families; I love all my students because they’re unique. Normally, we have very different cases. We might have a student struggling because they’re academically efficient, meaning they know how to work the system and they get bored with the subjects in which they are learning. So, they’re like, I need some motivation for my student, I need to make it relevant, something exciting so they know how to apply it. So, I get those to where we sit down and understand where they’re coming from and understand the family dynamic, and get that student on track so they get excited about their education and excited for the future. We also have students who have numerous learning disabilities, they might have IEPs or 504s, or something has definitely changed in their life that had them not on education as well as they want to, or they have fallen behind. My job with them is the focus on specific details to them get back on track, to get them motivated and pull out the learning skills that they’ve already been given and give them new skills so they can be successful with their learning disability or if they need those accommodations. When the parents hear that I can work with their child and to give them different pathways based on their type of learning or their disability, they look at that, they listen to me, I show them a different aspect of how to work best with their child, their child is excited, they get excited, and we can start working together to create that goal that we will come up with when we first meet.
Heather: Yes, I love that. I love that so much. And I have seen you transform some of these students’ lives. I’ve been right there watching–some of the same students I’ve worked with as my Homeschool Educational Specialist job. So do you have a favorite story of a student you watched just transform before your eyes?
Joshua: Now, you’re going to love this… and it’s weird because it’s just like asking a parent, “Do you have a favorite child?” All of them are unique, and I love their uniqueness, I mean I do have one student, the student I’m thinking about right now, he was massive amounts of ADHA, very impulsive, good soul but choice- making, and of course being so impulsive, he never really sat down and to do his work. And so, I had this student since junior high school, I know his personality and I know his family, so what we did is we really just dove in with what type of person he is, and the type of learning style he is. So, we were working one on one, introducing subject matter in a way that he can actually relate to it and apply it and he was great at that. He was great at taking our discussion and seeing it from a grander point of view. Because so many people have looked at him and said, he’s too excited, he doesn’t follow through, when we were together it was more of a relationship building and I was able to build accountability between the both of us that allowed him to keep striving. So where they thought he would most likely not graduate or barely graduated or get a GED, he started performing on all the level where he started creating PowerPoints of presentations and he started ready certain content. It was beautiful. It was unique how we did it, but of course he had an IEP. What we call ADHD, his impulsive, we transformed that to do and create things that were just magical. So, he ended up graduating with, I think, 18 units of college credit. He didn’t think he would be able to do that and he ended up going into a program, a certificated program, for college. And so, again, he wasn’t the academic, sitting in lectures, but with hands on he ended up going into welding. He loves it, and he’s making a business out of it. So, seeing, where they didn’t know where he would go to where he’s doing something he absolutely loves, and using his education to apply to that, that’s got to be one of my top stories. And he’s doing well, I saw him not so long ago and we talk all the time, and he’s doing very well.
Heather: Oh, that is so great! Eighteen college credits. That is phenomenal. In fact, my listeners learned last week that I have created this free workshop to help mom figure out how to get their high school students some college credits without having to change schools and without adding more hours to their day. So I am noticing that a lot of moms are concerned that their students aren’t good enough students to be able to do these college classes, and you’ve kind of shown me with the students that you work with that they have succeeded even at these college classes online. So, can you tell me how you’ve seen even average students do really great with these classes and why exactly that is.
Joshua: Okay, so I’ve been doing the college dual enrollment/concurrent enrollment program for about seven years now. And I’ve had students who are academically sufficient, meaning they could do them, and they understand the subject, but I’ve also had students with three or more learning disabilities, even processing disorders, do these college classes. When you look at the resources that are out there for these kids, all we have to do is look at the systematic way they learn and what resources we can give them, and they start to take off with their confidence and finding out their individual way of learning and their destination of where they want to end up and making it relatable, they start to take off on their own and start creating a learning habit that’s successful for them, and not just short term but long term.
Heather: And I’ve also noticed that these college classes, they break things down into manageable parts, you know maybe only releasing one module at a time with the clear due dates, and the teachers giving them a syllabus, I mean most high school classes they don’t get a whole syllabus of due dates and expectations and stuff like that. So, I am impressed with how clear the expectation is from the beginning of these classes and these very clear due dates, and I think that also helps even someone without an IEP getting any accommodations at the college, even these average students really stay on track.
Joshua: Yes, yes indeed. One of the things we first set up is what the syllabus is, how they can read it, and break it down. We also need to know what the professor is looking for. So, the greatest part is that we start the breakdown of the course. We look at what’s required and what they want, how they go week by week, and like you said, they release modules based on each week at a time, so it doesn’t become overwhelming. But the colleges do a really good job of breaking things down for these students. And they learn how to do that at such a young age, when you’re looking at my youngest student who took a college class was in junior high school, 8th grade, 14 years old; my oldest, well I still have adults taking college classes. But when they come out of high school and they go into more of a “now I’m a college student”, they have the system down pat, to where they already know what they’re going to expect, and I love that they now can do that and can recognize it. So yes, the colleges do a really good job of breaking things down for the students that is consistent.
Heather: Yes, and you spoke to the confidence that they gain. I’ve seen that with my own children. They’re definitely not A students, and their first college class, they were nervous, but I kind of used it as a training ground. And now, you know, my daughter is on her maybe eighth or ninth college class, and my son who’s only just barely 16, is on his fifth, sophomore year, and the confidence…like they are so prepared to go off to college when it’s finally time and they know they can do it and they know how to read a syllabus and it’s amazing watching these kids’ confidence grow, on top of getting these college credits.
Joshua: Yes! The psychology part. Confidence is a large piece of achieving what you want, to achieving your goals. And so, the reason why we do the college classes, is the college classes are more clear and concise than what is required. And the other reason why we do these college classes is because these college credits are not questionable and they’re transferrable. So, it’s the big picture, it motivates the students to keep moving forward, to gaining the skills they need to be successful after high school. And so, the general education is what we mainly do, the GE’s are there to reinforce the upper division concepts anyway. So, when they’re doing this in high school, they’ve already mastered that consistency, so when they’re in college they’re going to need those upper division classes and be at their peak. And like you said, when these students are not A students, or when they struggle, or when they’re C students, these classes what they do is they make you focus on the requirement and what’s needed, and it’s not about the grade, which the grades come anyway, but once the confidence is there, they want to see themselves succeed at a higher level anyway they’re engaged, they’re bought in, to the curriculum and to the course. So, I love how they mature and how they know where this is taking them, and they can see the big picture in these classes while actually doing the research and learning how to adapt in this new environment.

Heather: Yes. I have two things I actually wanted to ask you. I’ve noticed, first of all, that the high schools, especially the brick and mortars, they don’t always tell you, they a lot of times don’t tell you all your options out there, I had to find that out the hard way. But the other thing is is what they make you think sometimes is that AP is the way to go. And you said these college classes are for sure unquestionable and for sure transferable. Well, the AP isn’t always. You could put in this whole year of twice the workload and not get that test at the end passed, and even then, if you get I think it’s a 3, even then some schools don’t take that AP class as a transferable class, I found out. And then some Ivy leagues won’t take anything less than a five, and that’s even questionable, so I like I said it’s not questionable and these college classes online are for sure transferable. And what about these high schools, have you found it frustrating how they don’t tell these kids all these options and you have to go in armed with a bunch of knowledge and in order for them to even listen to you?
Joshua: So, when I started this, I went into the high school and I went to junior highs and I went to the conferences, and there’s a reason why they don’t advocate for this. I would assume, not to throw anything or any program under the bus, I just know that every student is different, and they need something different. So, the reason why, and I’ve been doing the college classes for a while, is it 2011, I will never forget this, I had a student that did all AP courses, and she was set up very well, knew exactly where she wanted to go as for the UC’s. And she applied for six UC’s. 4.3 grade point average, or 4.6, it’s amazing. This young girl was spirited and bright; we just knew she was going somewhere. All six UC’s, she did not get admitted, which we just didn’t understand. She took all AP’s; she was ready for this thing and she did not get in. And we were wondering that, so I did my little research and called and so forth and of course there are a number of reasons why a student may or may not get admitted to the school of choice or so forth, but it is to make you look good. When you’re looking at college classes, I made sure they were taking transferrable units. That’s one big thing is to make sure you’re taking transferable units to a general school that would accept that. So, California is kind of like the hub of if you do it in California, they’re pretty good other than New York and Boston, you’re pretty good at it transferring to other places. But when I say it’s unique, it is like you said, some schools want you to do their program. And so, it all depends on the courses that you take that the school will accept that correlates with their program. Again, when I found out with the system, the high schools are reluctant only because they have a program, and their program must be functioning within their own institution. You’re going to see now that a lot more schools are offering that concurrent enrollment, having the college come on campus and doing that, but again the high school wants you to run their program and when you go out to a community college, you’re really that community college’s student, not the high school’s student. And once you’re at that community college, you bring those documents to the high school and the high school says, “I have to accept them.” So, you’re not really, you know, functioning under their program. Which is not to throw anybody under the bus, it’s a function of any organization or institution, but the student must know that they have options, and not only at the community college, there’s so many other certificated programs, within the college, that they can get into that will help them. So, there’s a system but it really needs to meet the idea of what the student wants and what the family wants, and the main goal. The best part, you really want to work with the school if you can. So, if the counselor says, “No, they can’t do this or they can’t do that,” the ideas is that they are doing this not to get away from high school, it is mainly to help them build that confidence, it helps them to see their path ore clear, it allows them to have a little bit more free time to develop certain areas of their education, with these other resources that ultimately, they’re going to be need. And so sometimes that needs to be explained to counselors because when I was counseling at a high school, they don’t tell us that, we don’t go to those meetings. So not even the counselors knew of certain programs, so you can’t blame them. They just weren’t aware. Our job is to educate as much as possible, and to give a foundation for that individual student so they’re successful in whatever pathway they go.
Heather: Yes, it does. And that is my goal is to educate the moms out there with their options, so I’m hoping that everybody takes the time to just go see my free short workshop on how to get these high school kids some college credits in a little bit of an easier way, perhaps, than what they think are their only options. I wanted to thank you for being here today. This was so fun, and is there anything else you would like to add?
Joshua: Of course, you know I love you and everything you do. 100% support everything that you’re creating, it is just a true blessing for these families because things are different and that’s what I’m seeing in my field. Education is now different. Online elements; the hybrid elements; it is truly altering an individual student’s perception of education and how they receive education. So, we need as far as educators, we need to find that new innovative way to reach these students and their families. And like, the course you built, what better tool is there for a family and for a student. And then to know their options and then walk with them as they start to succeed and try to help them, not only educationally but psychologically, to deal with some of the changes that are going one, and then supporting the family, making sure they feel confident. So, it is definitely a village, it’s a community, that helps these individual students succeed. And having support like yourself and being knowledgeable with your experience and what you’ve done, and what you’re doing now, is absolutely vital to some of the success of these students and families.
Heather: Oh, well thank you. And I love what you do, too, and I would love for people to be able to come find you and use your educational consulting services and you’re making plans for these students that really need you, how can my listeners go find you if they would like to try to work with you?
Joshua: Indeed, well again, it is our passion. It’s a nonprofit, ABC Guidance, so to go to the website, abcguidance.com. The purpose of the organization is to help the individual child succeed, come around the family and support them, and map out of the new ways. So, we do assessments, personality and career and educational assessments to make sure they’re solid, not to pinhole a student, but to help give a tool and a guide of what pathway we choose, we create the pathway from as young as junior high all the way through high school to college and to career because the idea is to link all of them, so they have a goal, so we definitely want that. We also do the tutoring, as you know, we walk through with students, we meet with them, we build that accountability, and we just that buy in from the family and the student to make sure we are doing exactly what needs to be done for them to succeed. And then we do our cohorts. So, as we talk, with college, once they’re in they don’t want to be left alone, so we come together we help facilitate, we go through things one by one, we have that discussion so when they’re writing their papers or doing their quizzes, they are more confident because we’ve gone through it in discussion, in talking, in research. So that’s what we do, they can find me at ABCguidance.com, they also can go to email me at Jhays@abcguidance.com, and you’ll see all the information on the website, you could also go on Facebook to abc guidance. You’ll see all of our success stories, some of the students took videos, so you can see it that way. And we’re hoping that in the near future that there will be more opportunity to help more families.
Heather: Oh, that sounds great. Thank you so much, Joshua, and I will put your contact information in the show notes along with my free workshop that you can go attend and figure out how to do all this that we’ve talked about today. So, thank you so much.
Joshua: Thank you! What are you do is amazing! I loved coming today and doing this for these families, so whatever you need from me I support you 100%. So, I thank you; I appreciate it.
Heather: Ah thanks. Okay, we’ll talk soon.
Now there are two ways to work with me, and I honestly can’t wait to meet you. Please make an appointment for a free 30-minute coaching call with me, you’ll be amazed at how much we can figure out for you and your family in just 30 minutes. And now I also have a free workshop to show you how to help your high school student earn college credits without changing schools or adding hours to their day. I’m so excited to share this with you. Go to the links in the show notes or go to my website the-mommywhisperer.com. Let’s talk soon.

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I am a Certified Life Coach with a Master’s Degree in Education, and a happy mother of 10 wonderful children (4 children of my own plus 6 bonus children) and 7 grandchildren. I am just like you. I am a mother who wants the absolute best for myself, my children, and my family. I have the privilege of helping hundreds of mothers just like you who want to be better and feel better. Mothers who want to learn more effective parenting skills, who want their children to be more respectful and responsive, who want to improve their relationships with all those around them, and who want to hit the pillow each night feeling happy about their efforts and accomplishments…

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