Transformation Coaches

Transformation Coaches provide intensive employment preparation and skill-building to help you successfully overcome any barriers to academic achievement and workforce entry. Their highly supportive, cutting-edge interventions include the use of Virtual Reality training applications and brain-game assessments to help you understand your strengths and discover the high-demand careers where you would most likely succeed. In addition to one-on-one coaching, your transformation coach will connect you to ACC and community resources that will support your success and build your social network. Their goal is to provide you with the tools you need for employment and a streamlined pathway to attain your goals, all the while advocating for your success, completion, and equitable access.

Samantha Thomson - Neurodiverse Specialist

Samantha Thomson – Neurodiverse Specialist

Sam holds a Master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorder, an advanced certification as an Autism Specialist, and is the advisor for ACC’s student-led, neurodiverse organization, ACCess Autism. Employed with ACC since 2014, Sam has multiple years of experience supporting neurodiverse persons as a Master Academic Advisor, as well as the faculty and staff who serve them. Prior to her employment with ACC, Sam worked with the 18+ Transition Program through Leander ISD. In her role with Leander ISD, Sam supported neurodivergent students in reaching their paid employment and independent living goals. She also partnered with local employers and community organizations to further support her student’s goals.

In her current role as a Student Experience & Outcomes Transformation Coach, Sam works to increase equitable outcomes, bridging the gap between ACC and employment for neurodivergent persons. One of Sam’s specialties is providing comprehensive training in social cognition, executive functioning, and self-advocacy skills to increase professional success rates, including the long-term, professional goals of her students. Additionally, Sam provides training and workshops to establish meaningful and supportive connections with community partners to scale services for the neurodiverse population. She also works with employers and recruiters to increase inclusive hiring and retention practices.

Neurodivergent Specific Resources

De’borah Jones - Re-Entry Specialist

De’borah Jones – Re-Entry Specialist

De’borah holds a Master’s Degree in College Student Development from St. Edwards University and is in the process of obtaining a second MA in Counseling. She is the advisor for ACC’s re-entry, student-led organization, Students with a Purpose (SWAP). Employed with ACC since 2005, De’borah has served the college in multiple positions including, CE Workforce Advisor, Adult Education Recruiting/Advising Specialist, Enrollment Advisor, Adjunct Professor, and Hourly Counselor. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas, the ACC Leadership Academy, and the ACC Supervisor Academy. In her current role as a Student Experience & Outcomes Transformation Coach, De’borah works to increase equitable career and academic outcomes by bridging the gap between ACC and employment for students impacted by the judicial system. She specializes in offender workforce development strategies (OWDS), employment interview, negotiation, and retention strategies, social/emotional intelligence, business etiquette and professional branding, self-advocacy skills, and executive/cognitive professional skills. In that light, she has authored and presented multiple training programs in “Personal and Professional Development for Effective Long-Term Change.” Partnering with Travis County Sheriff’s Office, De’borah serves students both within the judicial system, as well as those who are currently transitioning to ACC and the community.

She has extensive knowledge and experience in community resource allocation, having served as a Management Analyst IV for the Department of Health and Human Services in the State of Iowa. In this role, she re-engineered the process of service delivery for individuals receiving medical aid, financial assistance, and food stamps for 99 counties. In 2019 De’borah was inducted into the Civility Hall of Fame by The National Association of Urban Etiquette Professionals for her work in the area of civility. In this arena, she traveled to “The Gambia,” Africa, where she coached contestants from 40 US States competing for the title of “Miss Black USA,” a Scholarship Pageant. This was the first time the pageant had crowned an African American on African soil.

“I believe in second chances and I’m grateful for mine. It has led me to my professional calling, which I refer to as HOPE – Helping Others Pursue Excellence! I believe in resilience. The ability to adapt to change and navigate setbacks is a skill that can be learned. I am passionate about helping my students master this in order to live authentic, successful, and happy lives.”

Re-Entry Specific Resources

Melissa Victor Totah - MA, LPC-S, NCC, CIMHP

Melissa Victor Totah, MA, LPC-S, NCC, CIMHP

Melissa Victor Totah is the Transformative Interventions Programs Manager for Student Experience and Outcomes. In this role, she collaborates with Career Counselors, Transformation Coaches, Student Life Specialists, and Student Life Equity and Inclusion Assistants to provide support and guidance for programs that make a positive impact within students’ lives. She also provides career counseling, coaching, and mentorship to current and prospective students, and serves as an internal coach and liaison for SE&O and ACC services. Prior to her current position, Melissa was an instructor for the Strategies for Today’s Jobs class for ACC’s Career Services. She is fascinated by all things career-related, including personality and holistic wellness. She loves to administer and interpret career assessments, help students discover their innate strengths, and align their unique talents with career pathways and opportunities. “I believe that a career is more than just a job or a series of jobs—it’s often an extension of one’s identity. While a career alone does not define us, it plays a vital role in our sense of happiness and well-being, and our sense of purpose within the world. I love my work and feel honored to support students in navigating how to successfully integrate their lives, careers, and academic goals.”

Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor (LPC-S)
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Certified Integrative Mental Health Provider (CIMHP)
Master of Arts (MA) in Professional Counseling, Texas State University
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin

Additional Student Resources

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