Category Archives: Celebration

Best of luck to our mentor at DreamWorks Animation!

One of our mentors recently shared with us that she is preparing for an upcoming DreamWorks Animation film release this fall! Kristen is a production coordinator in the story department, and has been working on Rise of the Guardians for four years now.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com.

This film looks wonderfully whimsical and unique, with an unexpected twist on some of our favorite mythical beliefs from childhood. It is set to release on November 21, 2012.

Good luck and well done to Kristen on the debut of this film! We can’t wait to see it.

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And, The Teacher of the Year award goes to…

We’re wrapping up the 2011-2012 school year here at icouldbe.org, and there are a few mentors, students and teachers who stand out!

We’re pleased to announce that Dana Braun is the recipient of our Teacher of the Year award!

Dana is a teacher from Westminster High School in California, and has been teaching in various capacities since 1989. Dana taught Biology and Physiology to sophomores and seniors for 15 years at Westminster, a California Partnership Academy (CPA). When the founding CPA coordinator retired, Dana took over her position to lead the Academy.

In 2007, Dana met the icouldbe staff at the annual CPA Conference where icouldbe delivers a workshop every year.  Dana has been bringing icouldbe.org to her Juniors ever since.

This year, Dana motivated her students each week to log on, communicate with their mentors, work on the curricular units focused on college and career prep, and receive valuable, personalized feedback from their mentors. The best reflection of Dana’s skills lies in her students’ outcomes: her current class has been chosen as one of the three Most Successful Classes of the 2011-2012 School Year. Here’s what Dana has to say about the icouldbe.org mentoring program:

  1. What role do you play with the students and mentors who work with the icouldbe.org program? I am a teacher as well as academy coordinator. The students are with me for one of their junior Career Technical Education classes, and the icouldbe.org program is delivered in my class.
  2. What makes a good icouldbe.org teacher?  I regularly monitor my students’ progress with their mentors on the curricular activities and I read over some of the conversations between mentors and mentees.  It’s critical that as a teacher I help facilitate good mentor and mentee interactions.
  3. Why do you think online mentoring is important for today’s youth? Online mentors give students access to someone who is out in the business world right now. Mentors can give students support and guidance during important career and college decisions. The great thing about online mentoring is that it is safe, and students can access the program at any hour, even if they are unable to work on the curriculum during the scheduled time period each week.
  4. Do any memories stand out to you this year from the students who worked with icouldbe.org mentors? I have several. I had a mentor that worked with a student who finished the entire 10 units in less than a semester. Another great memory was the excitement of one of my students who found a mentor who shared her interests in sports as a career. I also love when mentors are reassuring to students who express doubt about their skills. The vast majority of mentors are always able to find that personal,self-esteem building quality that can truly help my students gain the confidence they need to succeed.
  5. What do you hope for the future of your students? I hope they find their personal path, achieve to their potential, and reach their goals. In regards to icouldbe.org, I hope they long remember what they learned in the curriculum, the activities they completed and the guidance they received from their mentors.

Photo Credit: vistamommy on Flickr’s Creative Commons

Volunteer Week is here!

It’s one of our favorite times of the year – National Volunteer Week! This is a weeklong celebration when organizations all over the country thank the volunteers that are the very lifeblood of their cause. At icouldbe.org, that means taking a moment to thank our mentors.

It’s so exciting to have mentors volunteer from such a diverse collection of careers and industries – to be able to provide students with this expertise and advice is invaluable! Because of you, students all over the country are getting the support they need and deserve to be successful high school graduates and to see a new future that is full of possibilities.

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU icouldbe.org mentors!

You may remember back during January, we set a goal to recruit 500 new mentors. Happily, we’re very close to reaching the goal – we only need 50 more mentors (give or take) to sign up!

If you’re an icouldbe.org mentor, would you spread the word to your friends and coworkers who may be looking for a convenient – and rewarding – way to give back to today’s youth? And if you’re not – well, what are you waiting for?

Happy Volunteer Week!

Thank your Mentor Day!

Today, January 26, 2012, is National Thank your Mentor Day! It seemed like a great time to turn to the students in the icouldbe.org program and find out what they have to say to their mentors.

Below is a selection of letters from mentees to their mentor in honor of Mentoring Month and Thank your Mentor Day. Their responses are truly touching and remind us that they are the reason we celebrate this month.

How are you thanking your mentor today?

A wordcloud of the letters from icouldbe.org mentees.

Dear leftyonly:

Thanks for everything you have taught until now.  You have given great evidence to me that I greatly accept.  With your help, I know that I can reach my job interest.  With you, I will be able to excel like you did.  I can’t show enough gratitude that I have because of your information.  I know that because of you I am prepared.

Your mentee, Junior 704

—–

Dear Team2win and Ms. Maria:

I thank you for mentoring me, and teaching me new things that I needed to know.  You taught me the ways I need to go to achieve my goals. Thank you for taking your time to mentor me. It is because of you that I know what jobs I want to do when I get older.  Having a mentor is good for me because they show me the way to go.

Nashare704

—–

Dear Mentor:

Thank you for being my mentor.  I would like you to write to me.  If we talked, I would answer all your emails and I will ask you a few questions.  Any advice you will give me I will try to achieve it. I would like to be an artist or dancer.  I could see by looking at your profile that you could give me good advice.

Kayla704

—–

Dear volunteer9:

I would like to thank you for your assistance.  I thank you for commenting on my work and telling me how I could do better.  Please help me get into Princeton, Harvard or Yale, similar to what you did for college.  Could you please email me things that could be further help to me?  Thank you for your time.

Marino 704

—–

erdoc11,

I really appreciate having a fantastic mentor like you! A student, especially during their junior and senior year, cherishes having someone to guide them throughout school. Your advice and advocacy has undeniably helped make decisions towards my future. One of the great aspects of having you as a mentor is that I have also became a more ecstatic and optimistic person. I am undeniably looking forward to having you as a mentor during my senior year as well.

With much gratitude,

Soyunhorcrux

—–

Dear Mentor,

Thank you so much! You have been a GREAT person to me and of much help!

Recently you told me that I should research things about documentaries in history and I think that a great idea. I’m wondering, how did you find out about this website? But yeah, this has been a great experience so far. I find it really gnarly that some people care about students and help them achieve what they want in life. I think it is also cool that you take time off your day and do this! So I hope you and your family and friends are doing great, and have a good day – and week – and month!

Sincerely, basedgod.

—–

Dear Mentor,

The purpose of this email is to thank you for being my mentor. I want to let you know that I really appreciate what you do for me because not many people take time to do what you do. I’m glad to have a mentor like you, because with your help more doors to opportunities are going to open for me and for that I thank you.

Sincerely, Chris

—–

I really appreciate you taking the time to review my work. It is very helpful and I really enjoy your feedback. Thank you so much for all your help, I believe that the information you provide will help me become a better person. Hope you’re having a good day!

—–

Hey, I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking your own time to be my mentor. I have really learned a lot and you have encouraged me to go into what I really want even more. I have learned a lot about what it takes to go into medicine and I am very grateful for that. I hope you could keep being my mentor and keep giving me great advice. Thanks a lot. 🙂

—–

Thank you for being such a great mentor, I really appreciate all the help and advice you’ve given me, it’s been a lot of help.  I want to say thanks for always reviewing my work so fast! I have a really good grade thanks to the fact that you review my work fast so I can move on. I’m really thankful for you, and I hope we can keep our relationship growing bigger and bigger.

Happy national mentor month!

Sincerely, liz25

—–

Happy National Mentor Month!!

I just wanted to say thank you for all your support and advice. You’ve really helped me think about my future and what I want to do with it. Thank you for helping me understand what I’m doing wrong or what I’m not doing to prepare myself for college. I really appreciate it and don’t know what I would have done without having questions answered, talk to you soon.

— Jess9

Giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This week we’re giving thanks for our mentors, our mentees and the incredible number of icouldbe.org supporters. Without you, we wouldn’t be here!

What are you thankful for this year?

 

Photo credits:
Thanksgiving. November 27, 2008 clairity on Flickr.com Creative Commons

CNN article: “The emergence of e-mentoring”

We were just featured in a great CNN article, “The emergence of e-mentoring,” and we want to share it with you! Here’s the link.

Thanks to Doug Gross for sharing the story of icouldbe.org and online mentoring. Mentors, supporters and friends – we welcome your comments! And please share with your audiences via email, Facebook and Twitter if you can!

IAAM ranks icouldbe.org #1 website for teen success

We were so pleased to learn that IAAM (stands for “i am a millionaire” – aiming to inspire adults to redefine wealth, and to be rich in all that really matters) featured icouldbe.org in a recent article titled “7 Websites that Help Teens be Successful.”

The article highlights the fact that teens are now turning to the Web for resources on life skills, test prep, career and college research, and more. In the article, IAAM shares its top seven picks for the best online teen resources and icouldbe.org is ranked number one!

icouldbe.org is included among six other online sites that help teens in all aspects of life – social, developmental, academic – because they most certainly need and deserve a little (OK, a lot!) of support along the pathway to adulthood.

IAAM itself is The Teen Entertainment & Life Skills Multimedia Network, which features a comprehensive website, blog, online forum and magazine. Their site has tons of great stories and helpful articles for teens, and we couldn’t be happier to be recognized by such a forward-thinking, positive organization that acknowledges and develops the potential of today’s youth.

Thanks, IAAM!