This Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

When you look at this picture, what do you see? A happy woman? A mother?  This is actually Jackie McFarland, a Type 2 diabetic who goes for dialysis three times a week.  She is the mother of William E. McFarland who postponed his educational career to take care of his mother and now is on the Dean’s list in his first semester of college at West Virginia State University.  Jackie is proudly pointing to her son’s name in this picture. Jackie did not know from one year to the next if she would see her son, the youngest of three children, attend college because he postponed his education to become her caretaker while dealing with diabetes.

When William decided it was time to pursue his career goals, he called upon the expertise of a life and career coach who also happened to be his aunt Maxine.  I am Maxine Phillips, President and CEO of GAMMS Unlimited, Life and Career Coaching Firm Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

9After the first semester, I interviewed William so I would have a story to share with his mother’s picture. I asked him, what would he consider to be his greatest accomplishment during his coaching and what advice would he give other students by having a career coach? William replied: “Making the Dean’s list. My coaching sessions enabled me to discuss my challenges and create strategies.  At the beginning of my program my career coach said ‘it’s all about you,’  and believe me when I say, it was all about me.   Each session, I was asked, ‘what did I want to work on?’  

In my coaching agreement, I listed my goals as making the Dean’s list, improving my time-management and organizational skills.  I made the Dean’s list the first semester because I understood how to manage my time, organize my class assignments, projects and research papers. I exceeded my goals and GAMMS Unlimited exceeded my expectations.

My aunt Maxine kept stressing the importance of knowing your strengths and being in the right degree plan that complements your natural abilities.  I know I am in the right degree major for my natural abilities as identified by taking the Highlands Ability Assessment that was required as the first step in my coaching program.  The assessment results, I can use for the remainder of my life. I know how to communicate, how I make decisions and solve problems, and how I take in and process new information.  My coaching sessions was what I needed each time because I was asked, what would be the most valuable outcome you can achieve in our session?

10One week, I wanted to work on time management and that’s what we did.  As a result of it, I was able to create a time line for the current school year. Being able to know how to plan my projects, plan ahead for the unexpected situations, and maximizing my time enabled me to take my mom to her weekly dialysis appointments.  I never found myself cramming for a test and my projects were completed ahead of schedule.

Another session, I had a research paper and I needed a topic.  After many questions from my coach, I was able to narrow my topic and select a thesis that I was passionate about.  I received an A on the research paper.  I now understand that a coach is there to help extract the answers that you have buried deep within you.

I encourage college students to contact Maxine Phillips, my aunt to take the first step towards your transformation. The first step begins with you!”


This picture was taken in January 2013 after William had completed his first semester at West Virginia State University. Jacqueline McFarland got the chance to see her son enroll, attend and make the Dean’s List.  In October 2013, Jackie lost life to kidney failure. “I am grateful that Jackie and William trusted me to become part of his career journey.“ A picture is worth a thousand words but when you know how to communicate, articulate and leverage your natural abilities, your words create UNLIMITED opportunities!

unnamedAbout Maxine Phillips and GAMMS Unlimited:

GAMMS Unlimited is an organization that empowers people of all ages, especially the youth, by helping them to identify their natural abilities and creates a career strategy that includes selecting an appropriate college degree based on their strength. Maxine also created the AMP, Achievement Mindset ProcessTM, that helps individuals to accelerate their way of thinking when creating a blueprint to achieve fulfillment and reach a place of happiness by being true to self.  Currently, she has a book entitled “Transformation: Write + Share + Live”.  Maxine believes that “writing down your thoughts and ideas allows you to be completely honest with yourself.  It can also be a great problem-solving tool and very therapeutic.”

Her organization coaches students, adults; group and team coaching, as well as administer an Ability Assessments for student, adults, lawyers and leadership.

Maxine Phillips can be reached at or 919.349.1726

  • Esther Rogers
    Posted at 12:31h, 01 July Reply

    My Sister oh how I love her She also coach me with my husband who also had type 2 diabetes .If it had not been for her I would have been lost She helped me to accept the changes he had to go through to be with father who is in heaven .She is truly a coach someone who will help you deal with anything so I as this if you need help call her my Sister Maxine Phillip God heard you calling Love you your sister Estger Rogers????????

    • Mary S. Clark, RN, MSN, CDE
      Posted at 15:30h, 01 August Reply

      Maxine Phillips is amazing in her God given ability to coach individuals toward becoming all they can be. It was a very fortunate day that I met Maxine, joint fundraisers for the American Diabetes Association. Maxine is just as passionate about optimizing the lives of diabetics as I am. As founder of the Raleigh Diabetes Support Group, that is precisely what I strive to do – optimize the lives of every diabetic possible. Maxine is such a talented individual in a vast number of areas. She has joined the Advisory Board for the Raleigh Diabetes Support Group. With this she is lending her tremendous abilities for teaching & coaching to guiding & directing every aspect of the Raleigh Diabetes Support Group program! I praise the Lord for bringing Maxine into my life & the life of the Raleigh Diabetes Support Group. I look forward to the unlimited ways that together we will enhance the lives of diabetics in the Greater Raleigh Area!

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