Tag Archives: mentoring month

A recap on last night’s #MentorNextGen Twitter chat

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday evening for #mentornextgen! Last night, icouldbe hosted a Twitter Chat with our new partner AT&T Aspire and we were thrilled by the participation.  We chatted about volunteering through your employer, what motivates you as a mentor, the benefits of online mentoring, what the future holds for the next generation’s workforce, and much more.

If you weren’t able to participate, but are interested in following the conversation, check out the Storify we created for last night’s chat – it is easy to follow and will give you a run down of the topics we discussed:


Have a response to one of the questions asked last night? You may have missed the live chat, but we’d still love to hear your stories, thoughts, and experiences with mentoring. Leave your answers in the comment section below. And we hope you’ll be able to join us for our next chat!


Mentor Spotlight: Sam C.

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.

Happy Mentoring Month!

What better month than January, a time of fresh starts and new beginnings, to celebrate the power of mentoring? That’s right – it’s National Mentoring Month! Every January, the nation recognizes the importance of mentors and the impact that mentoring can have on today’s youth. It also serves as a call-to-action for new volunteers to join in on the mentoring movement.

All month long, we’ll be setting new goals, sharing stories from mentors and students, and attending events – so follow along with us on our website, here on our blog, and on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

There are a few special events planned for the month. Here’s a quick list:

January 11 – I am a Mentor Social Media Day

Check out this event on Facebook to find out more about how you can share your mentoring stories and celebrate Mentoring Month.

January 24-25 – National Mentoring Summit, Washington D.C.

We will be attending this event, live tweeting and posting about our experience there. Here is a link with more information on the summit. Later in the month, we’ll update you on how you can join in the conversation.

January 26 – Thank your Mentor Day

This is a great day to recognize and thank a mentor in your life. We’ll be sharing stories from students with icouldbe.org mentors, as well as posting a special thank you from our executive director. Here’s a link with ideas for how to celebrate.

Is there anything in particular you’d like to see us talk about this month?  If so let us know!

New Mentoring Recruitment Goal for January!

We are so thrilled to report that we have reached our goal of recruiting 300 new mentors during January’s National Mentoring Month! Thanks to all our new mentors!

We are so excited to see all of the enthusiasm to help our kids and have decided to increase our goal to recruit another 200 mentors. We have almost 500 new students starting the program in the next few weeks, 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!

So, please pass the word and invite your friends and colleagues to join us too – don’t forget, we’re on Facebook and Twitter, and would love to connect with you there!

A thank you from Kate Schrauth to all our mentors

In honor of January, 25, 2011 – National Thank Your Mentor Day – Kate Schrauth sends the following thank you to all icouldbe.org mentors:

Dear icouldbe.org mentors,

Because of you another child has been mentored.  Because of you, our volunteer mentors across the nation, a child has been given the gift of care and guidance and a promise of a life of hope and meaning.

This National Mentoring Month, and especially during Thank Your Mentor Day, the staff at icouldbe.org want to send our deepest thanks and gratitude to all of our volunteer mentors, without whom our efforts to serve at-risk youth would be impossible.  Ten years ago, we had a crazy dream that we could recruit hundreds of volunteers to help our most vulnerable kids discover their dreams and use their talents to create meaningful and fulfilled lives.  And now, because of you, our dream has become reality.  Some questioned if we could do it, others scoffed at our ideas, but you and all your peer mentors believed that this dream was worth fighting for.

Today, icouldbe.org is a strong and growing organization.  We have served 20,000 students and are working diligently to grow our program to serve 5,000 students annually over the next two years.  Your constant care and support has made all of this possible, so thank you for all you do each week.

We also wanted to reflect on a notable 2010. As always, we are truly grateful for the support of our school partners, funders and extended network of mentors, which represent extraordinary cross-sector efforts on behalf of thousands of young people in this country.

We were proud to launch our partnership with Monster.com and to co-create our new iSucceed campaign. New partnerships with public schools, community colleges, universities, workforce investment boards, state departments of education and economic development councils and corporate employers are underway throughout New York State, California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas.

This spring, icouldbe.org’s research detailing the impact of our online mentoring program on the vulnerable kids we serve was published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior.  Our independent research team from Drexel University developed a multi-year evaluation that monitored the progress of more that 1,500 students in the program and the findings clearly demonstrate the power of online mentoring.  We see statistically significant improvements in self-efficacy for all students, but especially those who are the most vulnerable and self-identify as hopeless.

This means that because of the care, support and guidance of their online mentors, the students have a highly improved ability to cope in their very challenging worlds where poverty, violence, drugs and dropouts are the normal order of the day.  Because of our program and our volunteers, our kids have practiced and developed skills that have moved their decision-making abilities from external sources (needing to be told what to do) to internal sources (making good life decisions for themselves.)

Last month America’s Promise released a new report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, revealing some remarkable work that has been done to lower the national dropout rate. However, significant challenges remain. Close to two million students still attend the nation’s dropout factories.  icouldbe.org knows that our mentoring program is significantly helping our students complete high school and prepare for post-secondary education and meaningful careers.   But we need to provide our program to more students and that will require more mentors.  Throughout 2011, we will work to engage 1,000 new mentors.

As you know, January is National Mentoring Month and we launched a massive mentor recruitment initiative to bring on 300 new mentors. We’re happy to announce the fulfillment of this goal! A follow up campaign will begin in February to recruit the remaining 700 new mentors throughout the winter and spring.  We’ll need you to help us spread the word using any social media outlets you have and by engaging your networks of friends family and colleagues to register to become mentors.

From all of us at icouldbe.org, we thank you and wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!

Very Sincerely,

Kate Schrauth

Miss Michigan 2010: Who was your mentor?

We spoke to Katie LaRoche, Miss Michigan 2010, for Mentoring Month. Katie told us all about her most influential mentor, Perry Woodard Conway.

I would say without a doubt that my greatest mentor since the age of two has been Perry Woodard Conway.  I grew up spending more waking hours at her little dance studio in Bay City, my hometown, than anywhere else.  She planted the seed that helped me develop the work ethic necessary to attain my goals. But more importantly, she exemplified a true compassion for people that was beyond beautiful, a compassion that brought her an inner peace I sought to hold.

I could never have imagined that I would get the opportunity to use all the years spent studying dance as a powerful tool in sharing an important message, one of reality coupled with hope.  The piece I performed on the Miss America stage this January was an artistic expression of my journey coming to understand the injustice that takes place in our world.  When performing this specific routine, my mind takes me back to the villages, to the slums, to the people from different corners of the world that have changed my perspective on life.  There is a great deal going on in our world that need not be, and it has been a blessing to be able to use music and dance to give others a glimpse of this reality—and maybe, just maybe, inspire a few to take action.

Miss Perry showed me the way to compassion and provided a means to share it with others.  Without her I would not be the person I am.