Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mentor spotlight: Megan R.

I absolutely love icouldbe.org and have been honored to work with some amazing kiddos. My role as an icouldbe.org mentor is intended to encourage at-risk youth through career and college exploration, but I have unexpectedly benefited much more than any of my students.

I have grown tremendously as a person by seeing the growth of my mentees as they work though the curriculum and develop perseverance and clear goals.  I will admit that some mentees can be challenging at first, but watching their mindset transition from apathetic to dynamic is the most rewarding aspect of this program.  I personally am thankful to have been connected to over a dozen wonderful students, most all who are interested in the medical industry.

As a Neurophysiologist, I am excited to offer practical guidance to motivated students with hopes to pursue their lofty dreams of Graduate or Medical school, even if they don’t initially think it’s possible. Guiding mentees one step at a time through tough choices is thrilling, and promoting pro-activity while they explore their career options allows them to pursue a track that is both realistic and achievable. Seeing the students feel solidly prepared to face those challenging decisions ahead of them is uplifting, and I thank icouldbe.org  for including me in their wonderful program!

-Megan R., Dallas, TX

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icouldbe.org STEM mentors will help students with science projects this year!

We’re very excited to announce a new partnership that will provide students working on science projects with dedicated online mentors in STEM fields!

In case you’re unaware, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There is a dire need in the U.S. for people to fill STEM careers; there are many science and technology job openings, but not enough people to recruit. A major place where this problem can be addressed is within our education system.

There is an amazing initiative happening in upstate New York called the Dr. Nelson Ying Tri Region Science & Engineering Fair (Ying TRSEF). The fair was created to allow students to explore their talents and challenge their minds in STEM fields. It’s available to students in grades 5-12 throughout 24 counties, which until 2006 had no regional access to the International Science and Engineer Fair.

This year, a group of these students will have the help of eMentors (provided by icouldbe.org!) during the creation of their science projects.

Ying TRSEF is engaging in a pilot program with icouldbe.org to provide students building their science projects with volunteer eMentors employed in STEM careers. These volunteers will mentor the students through the process of preparing for the fair on March 17 and 18. Using the icouldbe.org discussion boards, each mentor will help her mentee identify the science fair topic/question, make a plan to gather data to answer said question, understand ethical and safety procedures and analyze data and draw conclusions.

At the conclusion of the fair, mentors and mentees will continue the mentoring partnership by transitioning to the icouldbe.org curriculum. The mentors will then guide students through units that will help them identify future goals specific to post-secondary education and careers in various sectors.

We’re hopeful that this is just the beginning of a much bigger initiative to mentor students and create an interest in STEM careers. With mentors who already have vast experience and a passion for jobs in these fields, who better to pair with students to help them realize their capabilities and dreams?

Next month we’ll post an update from the science fair on March 17-18. We can’t wait to see what these kids create!

For more information on Ying TRSEF, visit www.yingtrsef.org.

Photo credits:
science lab counter. March 6, 2009 Meghan McDonald on Flickr.com Creative Commons

Aboriginal Students Embark on eMentoring Personal Quest

Here at icouldbe.org, we’re excited to watch one of our new mentoring partnerships unfold with the University of British Columbia (UBC). Funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and through the use of our own online platform, Aboriginal students in British Columbia (BC) are being paired right now with online mentors!

The UBC Faculty of Medicine, UBC eHealth Strategy Office, and a handful of BC school districts and First Nations communities are working together to connect university students with young aboriginal students in the province.

Aboriginal youth are significantly underrepresented in post-secondary education, especially in fields of health science. This eMentoring program aims to increase representation by supporting young aboriginal students to develop mentoring relationships with university students currently pursuing careers in health. This online mentoring relationship gives these youth someone to turn to, ask questions of, and gain an understanding about a health-related school choices and potential career options. Mentors can support discussions related to future challenges and opportunities such as time management and exploring post-secondary opportunities as well as provide positive role modeling for Aboriginal youth. The program will target grades 6-12 to allowing students to consider their aspirations early and ensure that students will have the potential to pursue their academic and career plans as they graduate from high school.

Not only will all mentoring take place online, but the program also boasts some changes from icouldbe.org’s traditional curriculum to accommodate Aboriginal culture, beliefs and traditions. The adapted curriculum is called an eMentoring Personal Quest (pictured below) and is divided into nine units, starting with first impressions and online safety and finishing with the transition to post-secondary education. Along the way, mentors will help their mentees gain the necessary confidence and skills to pursue a degree after high school.

Program funding began in April 2010, the online platform went live this past September, and the project has been full speed ahead since November, already well on its way to surpass a goal to recruit 50 mentors and 100 mentees. We are so excited to have the opportunity to work in such a unique partnership and broaden our own knowledge of mentoring within different communities and cultures!

Mentor Spotlight: Carolyn R.

I am relishing this experience of getting to work with my three students. I have a lot of respect for them, and how much effort they put into the the curriculum.

Here is what I love about e-mentoring:

Getting to work as a mentor takes me back to my own years in high school, and it reminds me of all of the curiosity and hope that I had about fitting into the world. Right along with the idealism, I recall my own powerful feelings of uncertainty at that time in my life. What I would have given to have an adult friend validating the path I was on.  As a therapist, I often hear clients’ stories about a lost dream in their lives. How vulnerable our dreams are to any impressions of doubt, when we are first creating them and saying them out loud. And then, of course, how incredibly exciting it is to hear a supportive adult say, “Why not?”

I think icouldbe mentoring should be a standard part of the curriculum in all of our nation’s high schools. I am thrilled and proud to be a part of the program.