Tag Archives: career

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!

[INFOGRAPHIC] What is the impact of the U.S. Dropout Crisis?

We’ve put together an infographic with a collection of data and statistics on our country’s dropout crisis. Many people know that the U.S. educational system is in big trouble, but they don’t know the exact implications of this crisis on our students, our economy or our society.

What do you think? Do these facts surprise you?

Many high school dropouts cite the lack of adult connection and relevant ‘real world’ learning as reasons for quitting school. At icouldbe.org we provide middle and high school students with online mentors who can guide them through a structured curriculum that includes career and college planning, financial literacy and community service. These mentors are also there for students for constant and open dialogue when they need help with schoolwork or just someone to talk to for advice.

To learn more about icouldbe.org or find out about becoming a mentor, partner school or corporate partner, visit our website.

Why I Mentor: Jeff Valentine

Here’s another Volunteer Week story from one of icouldbe.org’s dedicated mentors, Jeff Valentine. Also, check out our recent post on Jeff’s commitment to match donations for our 50 State Campaign – he’s the “champion” for New Jersey!

From Jeff Valentine:

How it came to be that I became involved with icouldbe.org –

In late 2006 I had an opportunity through my employer to become familiar with a variety of non-profits affiliated with Youth-Inc. which is effectively a non-profit assisting the development of non-profits.  I had always wanted to work with a non-profit focused on mentoring, though I didn’t really didn’t have an appetite or time for traveling around the five boroughs of the New York City area to meet face-to-face with kids.

Upon looking through the materials provided by Youth-Inc., I read about the services provided by icouldbe.org and its web-based mentoring platform.  It was a eureka moment for me as the icouldbe.org program, curriculum, and track record for serving kids was strong, and its web based platform resolved my prior excuses surrounding logistical constraints.  The more I learned about and became associated with icouldbe.org, the more inspired I became with it’s potential for providing broader and expanded service. 

Being raised in a small southern town, I thought about how wonderful it would be to be able to reach beyond urban cities and include smaller rural communities with its resources.  Fast forward to 2011 and the organization has evolved, expanded its scope, and is stronger than ever.  I am proud to part of icouldbe.org and look forward to the years ahead.

Why I Mentor: Wendy Siegelman

It’s finally here: National Volunteer Week! We look forward to this week year-round, because it’s a time when we can honor and recognize all of our incredibly important volunteers – our mentors. If it weren’t for them, icouldbe.org just wouldn’t be possible. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of our icouldbe mentors!

We will be posting several stories this week from our volunteers called “Why I Mentor.” These stories are truly inspiring, and might even show you why you might want to think about becoming a mentor.

From Wendy Siegelman:

Why I Mentor –

Mentoring is such a personal and fulfilling way to give and receive. One of my first mentors was a dance teacher in high school who had performed with the Ballets Russes and taught me about determination and hard work. I started mentoring a few years ago because I wanted to help children who didn’t have a steady adult presence in their life or who needed a trusted person to communicate with. I’ve been amazed over the years at the wisdom, generosity and resilience of the children I’ve mentored and by how much they teach me. I’ve spent my career developing internet products, and I love how icouldbe.org leverages technology to bridge people across location and time. Because of the flexibility of the online platform I consider mentoring something that is now a permanent part of my life.