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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Posted in Celebration, Students, Teachers
Tagged 2011-2012, California, CPA, e-mentoring, education, end, high school, icouldbe.org, online mentoring, partnership academy, school year, students, success, teacher, thank you, westminster high school
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!
Posted in Education and Schools, Students
Tagged Aboriginal, academic, beliefs, Canada, career, curriculum, education, ementoring, health science, high school, icouldbe.org, mentees, mentoring, mentors, online, online safety, partnership, quest, schools, traditions, UBC, University of British Columbia
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.
Posted in Mentors
Tagged appreciation, curriculum, dropout, e-mentoring, ementoring, guidance counselor, high school, icouldbe.org, mentor, mentoring, nonprofit, online mentoring, program, technology, therapist, U.S.
When I was an engineering program manager in the aerospace industry, one of my most enjoyable activities was working with just degreed young engineers. Guiding them through the processes of what engineers really do, letting them, with guidance, take on and successfully complete a project provided me with great rewards. I was even able to help a few win their Professional Engineer (PE) status. When I retired I wanted to teach motivated high school seniors advanced mathematics to hopefully guide them into a STEM career. That turned out to be something that couldn’t be done for a number of reasons.
Embedded in the above is why I enjoy working with icouldbe.org students. It is my hope that by providing guidance and encouragement to those young people, some of them will choose the route I followed in my professional life. There is a tremendous need for young, bright military officers and others schooled in STEM courses and ideas. It appears that some I’ve worked with have a leaning to go in that direction, that is rewarding. This great country provided the framework within which someone like me of humble beginnings through commitment could achieve whatever they set out to do. Working with young people like those in icouldbe is one way I have of giving back. Finally, just working with young people who want to better their lives to make a greater contribution to society in the future is a significant accomplishment.
Posted in Mentors, National Mentoring Month
Tagged advanced, aerospace, e-mentoring, engineer, engineering, high school, icouldbe.org, industry, mathematics, mentoring, mentoring month, mentors, online, professional, STEM, teach, technology
January is National Mentoring Month, so what better time to recruit new mentors?
Last year, we set a goal to sign up 300 new e-mentors during Mentoring Month – and we far surpassed that goal and had well over 300 people sign up.
This year, we’ve set a new goal: to recruit 500 new online mentors during January!
We are inviting those from all industries to sign up. But there are certain areas where we especially need mentors. These industries include:
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
- Health Sciences
- Creative Arts
Do you, or does someone you know, work in one of these industries?
Please help us spread the word this month so we can reach our goal of recruiting 500 new mentors! It only takes an hour a week per mentee, and you can access icouldbe.org from anywhere you have an Internet connection – your office, home or your daily commute. You can truly make a difference in the life of a student, and positively impact their future through the power of e-mentoring.
We have 1500 students currently in the program and another 300 starting the program in the next two months, so the more support for all of them, the better! With 500 new mentors, all of our students will have the support they need to succeed.
Check here for real-time updates on our new mentor sign-ups.
working. October 30 2011: Violette79 on Flickr.com Creative Commons
Posted in National Mentoring Month, Recruitment
Tagged 500, challenge, computer, e-mentoring, education, high school, icouldbe.org, mentoring, National Mentoring Month, nonprofit, one hour a week, online, online mentoring, recruitment, sign up, volunteer