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!

We’re off to a busy 2016!

2016 National Mentoring Summit in DC

The 2016 National Mentoring Summit in Washington DC was a success! Our Executive Director Kate Schrauth and COO Wendy Siegelman along with Minchau “MC” Dinh, the co-founder and Chapter leader for DataKind DC presented our research from a 2015 project at the workshop, “What Makes Mentoring Relationships Successful? The Answer was in our Data.”

There was a great turn out at the workshop with insightful questions and dialogue about using data analysis to improve mentoring relationships. Kate, Wendy and Program Director Michelle Derosier, met many inspiring leaders in the mentoring field and we are excited to explore new partnerships!

Linked Learning Convention in San Diego

We are also proud to announce, our curriculum developer Madeline Giscombe participated on a panel in February at the Linked Learning Convention in San Diego!

Linked Learning integrates academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experiences, and aligns with iCouldBe’s mission to provide at risk students with a community of professional mentors, empowering teens to stay in school, plan for future careers, and achieve in life.

Madeline and partners from SAP, Skyline High School, Career Ladders Project, and Berkeley City College and other educational organizations presented how iCouldBe’s gamified mentoring program helps develop the next generation virtual and STEAM workforce.

We look forward to continuing discussions with the wonderful panelists and partners  from the Linked Learning Convention, expert practitioners, researchers, and corporate supporters from the National Mentoring Summit and the engaged audience members from both as we continue creating meaningful learning and real-world experiences for our youth!

Happy Holidays to Our Amazing icouldbe Community!

2013 has been a milestone year for icouldbe thanks to our many dedicated mentors and partners. As we head into 2014 we continue to grow the numbers of students served and we need your help to recruit and train mentors to support thousands of icouldbe students around the country.
Please Help icouldbe Support More Students in 2014!

Please include icouldbe in your year-end giving by DONATING now. Here’s how your tax-deductible contribution will make a lasting impact:

  • $30 enables icouldbe to recruit and train one new caring mentor
  • $150 enables icouldbe to recruit and train five new caring mentors
  • $300 supports an entire mentor and mentee relationship for the full academic year
Your gift will help us continue to provide at-risk teens with the e-mentoring guidance and support they need and deserve to graduate high school and pursue their post-secondary educational and career dreams. Thank you for your incredible support and generosity and we wish you a warm and wonderful holiday and New Year!

The icouldbe Team

icouldbe ThankYou

“How did you find icouldbe?”

If it weren’t for all of our dedicated volunteers, icouldbe.org wouldn’t exist. Our mentors come from all different backgrounds and places around the country, and work for a great variety of companies. Some of our mentors are employees of our corporate sponsors, and found out about us that way – others have signed up through our Volunteer Match page.

So we’re curious to know – if YOU are a mentor for icouldbe, how did you find out about us? (And if you’re not… maybe now you can say that our blog is how you got motivated to volunteer!)

Ever wondered how it works?

You’re probably familiar enough with icouldbe.org to know that it is an online, curriculum-based mentoring program. There is a little more to it, though – which is why we thought we’d explain how mentoring works at icouldbe.

First, icouldbe partners with a school in order to integrate their mentoring program into the school’s existing curriculum. Students are then able to choose their mentors (mentors from all over the country) depending on their interests and occupations.

Mentees and mentors are expected to interact and participate at least one hour per week, though many commit more time than that, and research has shown that the relationship should last one year in order to be successful. Both mentees and mentors are expected to spend 80% of their time in the activities outlined by the curriculum, and 20% spent on the community discussion boards and email communication.

The curriculum that students must participate in carries several units. Units each consist of three to four activities to complete. The units cover topics such as college and career preparation, as well as money management.

There is a fully integrated reporting system within icouldbe.org. This allows faculty at participating schools to review data on their students’ interactions with mentors, curriculum work, and the progress being made. Mentors are also able to access this reporting feature, in order to communicate with teachers and administrative staff regarding the quality of their mentee’s work.

Imagine a Facebook–like technology solution that surrounds each student with five caring adults – three mentors, their classroom teacher and an icouldbe.org staff person – all of whom are focused on that individual student’s interests, goals and passions for their futures.  There are very few programs that can bring bank executives, artists and all types of professionals right into classrooms every week of every school year.  And, icouldbe.org is a scalable solution that is ready to grow and serve any student in need.

The icouldbe mentoring program is able to help students get the attention and dedication they deserve to learn, grow and plan out their future. Any questions about how it works? Feel free to leave a message here, or check out www.icouldbe.org for more info.

Setting the facts straight…

We’ve been busy telling you about the latest icouldbe news and accomplishments… maybe we should backtrack a little and give you some basic statistics about the program.

  • Currently, icouldbe is working with over 1800 middle and high school students.
  • We have programs in 9 different states, as well as Washington D.C. – these include New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, California, Colorado, Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
  • We are partnered with 44 different schools, academies and/or youth organizations within 35 cities.
  • Icouldbe’s mentors have volunteered more than 3,500 hours providing students with guidance and support during this academic year. Mentees have logged over 8,000 hours utilizing the site’s college and career exploration resources and communication tools.

This brings us to a total of over 11,000 hours that users have spent communicating with one another – in the first half of the school year!


Wow! This is our first-ever blog entry. We plan to use this arena as a place to share information on online mentoring, stories from our organization, and news specific to the mentoring and education industries.

So – who are we?

icouldbe.org is an online mentoring program connecting high school students from diverse communities with mentors from across the country. We develop meaningful relationships between students and e-mentors, and explore students’ interests and dreams for the future.

You can help a student from anywhere in the country learn about their job or college opportunities, or even teach them about your own career. The result is rewarding on both ends – you get to do something helpful and give back to the community, while changing and enhancing a child’s life in the process.

Visit icouldbe.org for more details on how to become a mentor, corporate partner or request information on how your school can be part of icouldbe.org. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.