Sam Taylor, BS
Associate/Coaching Support Specialist
When I first met Dennis and Camille, I instantly knew that I would enjoy working at a business like LaMountain & Associates where I could have the opportunity to apply my knowledge, skills, and interests in working with college-age young adults and other adults with disabilities. Just a couple of months after meeting them, I was thrilled when they offered me the opportunity to join LaMountain & Associates as Associate/Coaching Services Specialist. I swiftly accepted this position, knowing this was the place for me.
For me, a special aspect of working at LaMountain & Associates is that I can experience a unique “connection” with my late grandfather, Dr. Gerry Thomas, in my job every day. You see, my grandfather was Dennis LaMountain’s supervisor when Dennis was studying for his master’s degree at Cornell University. And now I work as an Associate with Dennis and Camille.
Having done my senior year internship at Virginia Commonwealth University and discovering the amazing area of Richmond, I had decided to make the move to Richmond after completing my undergraduate degree in psychology, along with a minor in business administration at the University of Mary Washington (UMW). My grandmother, Dr. Susan Murphy (I call her Grammy), put me in touch with Dennis and Camille – and the rest is history.
Dennis often reminds me of the positive impact that my grandfather had on him, both personally and professionally. I can see that Dennis has some of my grandfather’s wonderful traits, and I aspire for those, too. Working at LaMountain & Associates is an opportunity for history to keep recreating itself – in a wonderful way!
Throughout my time at college and before, I knew I wanted to work with and help people. I knew this from volunteering with my school and several groups around Fredericksburg and from simply being the person friends would go to when they needed someone. I always prided myself on being able to help others and absolutely loved doing it! That’s why I decided to get a Bachelor of Science in psychology at UMW. Throughout my studies in psychology, I was able to conduct research (which was approved to be presented at several conventions) with fellow students and professors at the university and to develop myself as a student and a professional.
I was also heavily involved with student life on campus. During my tenure at UMW, I was an Orientation Leader, Orientation Coordinator, Peer Mentor, and a Student Desk Aide with the office of Student Involvement. I often worked directly with faculty and staff on projects, including campus-wide events, and managing a database for the University. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of how a university functions. Now, I am passionate about using that knowledge to help current and future students thrive in the college environment and beyond.
One of the driving factors that led me to become so involved at UMW was that I have ADHD, and I learned early on that I had to self-advocate in order to succeed. Therefore, I was constantly talking with staff in the offices of Disability Resources, Student Involvement, and Residence Life & Housing. Through these discussions, I was able to set myself up for success and to graduate Cum Laude, as well as on the Dean’s List.
While I was able to be successful in college, I was only able to do so because of the support network I formed and the skills that I learned through trial and error growing up. I’m continuing to strengthen my skills in helping young adults in a 30-week JST Coaching course, “Empowering Students Through Coaching.” I’m excited that I am on track to become a certified life and ADHD coach and that I will be applying in 2021 for the ICF ACC credential.
I learned early on how to speak up and ask for what I needed to succeed. By providing coaching and coaching support services at LaMountain & Associates, I now enjoy passing those skills along to college students, young adults, and other adults.