John Andrew Williams is the founder of Academic Life Coaching. He is also the author of five books including Essential Life Coaching and Academic Life Coaching: The Workbook. He is also a former writer for Newsweek and is currently co-authoring a book with Marshall Goldsmith, a New York Times bestselling author, on life coaching principles in education and families.
He speaks internationally at universities as well as education and life coaching conferences from Portland State University to the first international ICF conference in Dubai. His topics include creativity, Emotional Intelligence, leadership, and life coaching. Learn more about booking John to speak at your event.
John Andrew Williams was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the rural South Hills and spent his summers between academic years working on a farm picking corn in the morning and tomatoes in the afternoons. He also wrestled and played football, being captain of the Varsity football team and placing 3rd in State his senior year.
He attended Brown University and graduated with a degree in Classics in 2003. He taught Latin at Wheeler High School from 2002 to 2004.
Summer 2004 he and his newly-wed wife, Amois, moved to southern Oregon to be near her family. By some freak alignment of the stars he landed another High School Latin position at St. Mary’s, literally the only High School Latin teaching position within a 300 mile radius.
It was at St. Mary’s that John developed the Academic Life Coaching Program for four years, from 2004 to 2008. With the Academic Life Coaching Program he attempted to fill the gap between what students were learning in classrooms and what was useful in life.
Summer of 2008, John and his family moved to Portland, Oregon, where he established his Academic Life Coaching practice. At its peak, his practice had 42 current clients in October 2009. Winter 2009 he started to train other coaches, Gina Halsted and Rawan Albina, in the 10-sessions program he created. By 2010, John had trained a dozen other coaches and launched officially the Life Coach Training Program. Five years later, he’s logged over 2800 life coaching hours and trained over 300 academic life coaches.
Immediately out of college, I started working as a high school teacher. I always had an easy time relating to young people, and I knew that I wanted to devote my professional life to helping them thrive. When I found life coaching, I realized that the skills- listening, emotional intelligence, awareness- were the most important for young people to develop. Helping students be successful is my passion, and my work is deeply fulfilling to me.
Portland, Oregon is one of a kind. After graduating from college, my wife and I moved to southern Oregon to be closer to her family. As Academic Life Coaching began to grow, we realized we needed a larger city to grow the movement further. Portland is a flourishing city, with a supportive culture for entrepreneurs and a passionate community for people looking to make a difference. The city offers a variety of people, places, and experiences, and the closeness to the outdoors is just an added bonus. As an avid mountain biker, the abundance of biking trails close by is just another reason to love the city. Portland really is the perfect place for my family and me, as well as the perfect place to headquarter Academic Life Coaching.