Using virtual mentors to expand offline networks and grow career aspirations

Julia Freeland at the Christensen Institute spoke with iCouldBe’s Executive Director Kate Schrauth about how technology can expand students’ networks.

Here’s an excerpt:

Julia:  In our research we’re focusing a lot on how relationships – or social capital – are critical levers for social mobility. Is iCouldBe’s model building students’ networks  both on and offline?

Kate: We do see that bear out. Within iCouldBe’s curriculum, mentees work on a number of activities that help them become aware of, and practice, networking skills. These activities have mentees practice these skills with teachers and other adults who can help them reach their educational and career goals. A thoughtful, goal-oriented and professional approach to networking skill-building helps mentees improve relationships and build social capital. In the most recent analysis of mentee pre-and post-surveys from the 2016-2017 academic year, mentees report that prior to the program 63% have natural mentors (in their offline lives) while after the program, that percentage grows to 81%.

iCouldBe was delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the positive outcomes of virtual mentoring with Julia Freeland at the Christensen Institute. Read the full article here.

 

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iCouldBe Launches New Curriculum with SAP

iCouldBe has partnered with SAP to create a new multi-year in-person mentoring curriculum. The first year of the curriculum was piloted in 2015-2016 and fully launched in the 2016-2017 school year, and this academic year we are delighted to launch the second year curriculum to schools in Boston, San Francisco, and Vancouver.

The new curriculum includes an orientation and nine activities focused on team-based mentoring. Professional mentors participate

with their teams in-person three times during the program, and on non-mentor days, one mentee per team takes a lead role to encourage peer mentoring and leadership skills.

The year one curriculum provides grounding in mentoring skills, self insight and career exploration. The year two curriculum guides mentees to create their own Public Service Announcement (PSA) about how their school and community can help students overcome a challenge.

The curriculum was developed by Madeline Giscombe with Wendy Siegelman and includes illustrations by Lisa Decker.

Here’s a quick overview of the new year two curriculum!

Mentors join their mentee teams three times during the program, and help the teams develop a concept for a public service announcement about a common challenge students face and how their school and community can help solve that challenge.

The mentee teams learn how to convert their public service announcement concept from a brainstorm, to an outline, to a storyboard, to film!

Throughout the program, mentees have time at the end of each activity to write privately in their personal ‘film log’ so they can apply what they have learned about mentoring and problem solving in their own lives.

A big thank you to SAP for their vision and support and thanks to SAP employee mentors for their commitment to working with their mentee teams!

iCouldBe Featured on American Graduate Day!

On Saturday October 14th iCouldBe was delighted to participate in American Graduate Day 2017!

Broadcast live from Tisch WNET Studios in NYC on public TV stations across the country, the 6th annual American Graduate Day examined the vital role mentorship plays in improving high school graduation rates, and explored diverse pathways to academic and career success and workforce development opportunities.

We invited Marisol, an iCouldBe mentee from 2016-2017, to visit New York City and participate in the American Graduate Day program and surprised her on live TV when her mentor Neal arrived to meet her in person for the first time.


iCouldBe Mentee Marisol arrived in New York City for the first time and headed to the WNET studio at Lincoln Center.


Marisol’s sister, teacher and the iCouldBe team watched from the viewing area.


During Marisol’s interview, her Mentor Neal Backsman, arrived to surprise her. Since iCouldBe connects mentees and mentors online, this was the very first time they met in person.


Marisol discussed how they focused on developing a roadmap for Marisol’s future education and career while they also developed a meaningful and trusting relationship.


Neal shared how much he had learned from Marisol throughout the mentoring program and shared his experience as an AT&T employee who has been supported and encouraged by his company to be a mentor to 6 mentees over the past four years! 


As they completed the iCouldBe activities, Marisol told Neal about her plans to get a Nursing Assistant certificate before she even graduated from high school, and her plans to apply to nursing school and her goal to travel the world. Neal  helped Marisol research a career as a traveling nurse and Marisol is now excited to pursue that as a potential career option.


Marisol and Neal had an incredible time with the welcoming and warm team at WNET.


A huge thank you to WNET, Neal and Marisol, for an amazing American Graduate Day experience with iCouldBe.

See the video here!

Click below to see iCouldBe mentee Marisol and mentor Neal on WNET’s American Graduate Day

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Thank you Mentors!

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Introducing Talisa Anderson, Our Newest Program Manager! 

Talisa helps iCouldBe manage communication with stakeholders, risk assessment, and synthesization of data. She’s passionate about seeing mentees breathe life into their dreams with the encouragement of their mentors.

When Talisa was young she dreamed she could be a cultural ambassador who traveled across continents immersing herself in all the shades of beauty the world has to offer. Her first mentor was her high school guidance counselor who believed in Talisa’s voice and vision and taught her to use both to positively impact the world around her.

Talisa received a BA in International Relations from Tufts University and has since worked to empower marginalized communities and promote cross-cultural exchange in schools and non-profits in Asia, the United States and Western Europe. Over the past 9 years, she has advocated for survivors of trauma with the Crime Victims Treatment Center, counseled ESOL adults at University Settlement, and mentored low-income youth at George Jackson Academy.

When she’s not connecting with teachers and mentors, you can find her meditating at a yoga class, exploring cities near and far with friends, and enjoying the company of her wonderful family.

Welcome to the iCouldBe team Talisa!

Mentees are saying…

Our Amazing Mentees Discuss their Role Models.

An Illustrated Fictional Game Story 

iCouldBe is working with a wonderful corporate partner to develop a new multi-year mentoring curriculum that features a futuristic story filled with fun challenges and game elements that reinforce basic mentoring principles. The curriculum and fictional game story is being created by Madeline Giscombe, our Curriculum Developer and the drawings were created by Lisa Decker. Below is a sneak peek at a couple of scenes…

 

There are many artists and creative thinkers in the iCouldBe network.  Our aim is to adhere to the mission of iCouldBe while making the activities more fun and engaging, keeping in mind the different motivations and learning styles of our mentees. Great things to come!