Tag Archives: icouldbe.org

icouldbe.org Executive Director discusses virtual volunteerism on the Huffington Post!

We’re excited to announce that icouldbe’s executive director Kate Schrauth wrote an article for Huffington Post Impact this past week! The article, titled “For Volunteer Month: How Today’s Busy Professional Can Give Back” discusses how virtual volunteer opportunities are great for those who want to give back, but have limited time to do so.

An excerpt from the post:

“What does it mean to volunteer “virtually”? It is the act of completing tasks off-site from the organization you are volunteering for, using the Internet to stay connected. In other words, you choose an organization you want to support and fulfill that commitment from anywhere with an Internet connection.”

What do you think about virtual volunteerism? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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icouldbe.org will host its first ever Twitter Chat!

We are so excited to announce we are hosting our very first Twitter Chat! On Wednesday, August 1st at 7:00 p.m. EST, you can log on to Twitter, follow @icouldbeorg and join our chat using the hashtag:

#icbchat

For this first chat, we will be partnered with our friends from VolunteerMatch (found on Twitter as @VolunteerMatch). VolunteerMatch is an online resource to connect volunteers with the best possible local – or virtual – opportunities to fit their own lifestyles and interests.

Also joining the chat will be Coretta Jackson (@CorettaJackson), an icouldbe.org mentor and an expert in social media and virtual volunteering!

During the chat, we will have an hour-long discussion on eMentoring and Virtual Volunteering, including best practices for mentors, the roles of schools and teachers in mentoring relationships, other virtual volunteer opportunities, success stories, and more.

Here’s how the Twitter chat will work:

  1. Mark your calendars for August 1st at 7:00 p.m. EST
  2. When the time arrives, log on to Twitter or your preferred application and search for the hashtag #icbchat. This will allow you to filter content so that you’re only seeing tweets from our discussion.
    1. TIP: A great way to monitor conversation and participate in a Twitter Chat can be found at http://tweetchat.com/. Nothing to download, just log in to your Twitter account and enter in the hashtag #icbchat. Everything is neatly organized and updates in real-time!
    2. For the next hour, we will tweet a series of questions and conversation starters on the topics of eMentoring, virtual volunteering and education. Each of our questions will begin with “Q1: Sample question.” Our co-hosts will weigh in with their responses, and we’d love to hear from you, too!
    3. If you’d like to respond, answer with “A1: Sample answer.” Or you can just reply to us, or retweet any tweets you think are worth mentioning. It’s totally up to you – but make sure to always include the hashtag #icbchat at the end of every tweet. That way your tweet will be seen by everyone tuning in and participating.
    4. We’re looking forward to hearing everyone’s feedback and seeing what Twitter users have to say about online mentoring and volunteering! At the end of the hour, we will compile everyone’s tweets and post it online for reading or referencing later on.

If anyone has questions or comments about this upcoming chat, please post them in the comments section here and we’d be happy to discuss. Or, tweet us and mention @icouldbeorg!

This ‘Thank You’ means the most of all

During the 2011-2012 school year, there were a few classrooms of students that went above and beyond with their work in the icouldbe.org curriculum.

Below is a photo of one of these classrooms. These students on average completed over 26 activities in the curriculum, and truly showed dedication and hard work to complete the units, work with their mentors and get the most out of the program. We absolutely love to see these students take advantage of what icouldbe.org has to offer!

Here’s what one mentee had to say about his work with the program:

“The online mentoring program icouldbe.org has been a great help to me because all the units have shown me something I didn’t know. I especially learned from the unit that deals with money. This unit showed me how loans work and how to manage a credit card if I even choose to get one. My mentor was a great help in giving me advice and establishing my future goals. icouldbe.org is a well rounded online mentoring program that I enjoyed being a part of.” 

We decided to thank this classroom of students with a celebratory pizza party – and here’s how they thanked their mentors and icouldbe.org in return!

There’s nothing like a giant Thank You to help you remember that these students are the reason we do what we do. (And there’s nothing like a good slice of pizza, either.)

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

icouldbe.org Executive Director speaks out on STEM in the Huffington Post!

We’re excited to announce that our executive director Kate Schrauth penned an article for Huffington Post Science titled “Mentoring the Next Generation towards STEM careers” – you can read it here.

An excerpt from her article:

“It’s inspiring and encouraging when these relationships form and students grow beyond the classroom, beyond graduation, to a life of promise and success. But we can do more. We can build a nationwide, unified effort to encourage more women and minorities to pursue STEM careers.”

Let us know your comments and thoughts on the article! And please share it with your friends and coworkers – especially those in STEM careers who might be able to pass on their knowledge through the power of mentoring.

 

icouldbe.org is competing in the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge!

Here at icouldbe.org, we’re having an incredibly exciting (and busy!) spring. We’ll be sharing with you over the coming weeks the various projects and partnerships in development, but right now we’re pleased to say we have been selected amongst 14 other organizations to participate in the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge!

Here’s how the Strategy Challenge works:

  • 15 nonprofit organizations from all over the country were selected by Morgan Stanley to participate in the challenge (including icouldbe.org!). Click here to see a full list of participants.
  • Now, over a period of 8 weeks, we get to sit down with a team of Morgan Stanley professionals to receive pro bono advice on growth, business strategy, and how we can fulfill our mission in more effective ways. This kind of advice and commitment is invaluable to a nonprofit!
  • But it gets more exciting – at the end of eight weeks, each organization will have the opportunity to present ideas developed from the strategic meetings and compete for cash grants!

We’re incredibly thankful to Morgan Stanley for giving icouldbe.org this opportunity. Their commitment will better help us reach our goal to double the amount of students we currently serve by the year 2014!

Stay tuned for our other updates here, or on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and LinkedIn profile.

We need your votes!

Remember a few weeks ago, when we posted about our partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a new eMentoring program for Aboriginal youth?

Well, that very same program has been selected as 1 of 16 finalists for the Changemakers Initiative: Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning.

The most exciting part is that the awards are given based on community opinion. This means that voting determines who receive the awards. This is an great way to involve the public and have them acknowledge amazing work in their community.

Please show your support by voting online for eMentoring BEFORE March 21, 2012.

Also, please spread the word to your co-workers, friends, family and your social networks. We hope you take this opportunity to help icouldbe.org and UBC achieve another eMentoring milestone!

TO VOTE, simply:

–          Visit: http://www.changemakers.com/fnmi-learning/finalists#tab-section

–          Scroll down to find “Aboriginal eMentoring BC” in the list of 16 finalists and click on the checkmark

–          You will be asked to create an account by filling in some basic info OR by signing in via your Facebook account (both are quick and easy)

–          If you create an account, you will get an email requesting you to confirm your vote by clicking on a URL

Please also pass on this message and post the voting link on your Twitter or Facebook: http://www.changemakers.com/fnmi-learning

Thanks!!