Tag Archives: mentoring

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!

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iCouldBe Featured on American Graduate Day!

On Saturday October 14th iCouldBe was delighted to participate in American Graduate Day 2017!

Broadcast live from Tisch WNET Studios in NYC on public TV stations across the country, the 6th annual American Graduate Day examined the vital role mentorship plays in improving high school graduation rates, and explored diverse pathways to academic and career success and workforce development opportunities.

We invited Marisol, an iCouldBe mentee from 2016-2017, to visit New York City and participate in the American Graduate Day program and surprised her on live TV when her mentor Neal arrived to meet her in person for the first time.


iCouldBe Mentee Marisol arrived in New York City for the first time and headed to the WNET studio at Lincoln Center.


Marisol’s sister, teacher and the iCouldBe team watched from the viewing area.


During Marisol’s interview, her Mentor Neal Backsman, arrived to surprise her. Since iCouldBe connects mentees and mentors online, this was the very first time they met in person.


Marisol discussed how they focused on developing a roadmap for Marisol’s future education and career while they also developed a meaningful and trusting relationship.


Neal shared how much he had learned from Marisol throughout the mentoring program and shared his experience as an AT&T employee who has been supported and encouraged by his company to be a mentor to 6 mentees over the past four years! 


As they completed the iCouldBe activities, Marisol told Neal about her plans to get a Nursing Assistant certificate before she even graduated from high school, and her plans to apply to nursing school and her goal to travel the world. Neal  helped Marisol research a career as a traveling nurse and Marisol is now excited to pursue that as a potential career option.


Marisol and Neal had an incredible time with the welcoming and warm team at WNET.


A huge thank you to WNET, Neal and Marisol, for an amazing American Graduate Day experience with iCouldBe.

See the video here!

Click below to see iCouldBe mentee Marisol and mentor Neal on WNET’s American Graduate Day

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!

Become an E-Mentor!

Did You Know that nationwide nearly one‐third of high school students fail to graduate. Approximately 1.3 million students drop out each year — averaging 7,200 every school day. Among minority students, the problem is more severe: almost 50 percent of African‐American and Hispanic students don’t complete high school on schedule.

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Have you ever considered becoming a mentor but worried that you didn’t have the time?  icouldbe makes mentoring simple, easy and highly effective.  icouldbe is an e-mentoring solution that uses a best-in-class, interactive technology platform to bring mentors together with their mentees – right in the mentee’s classrooms.

A commitment of just one hour per week – whenever YOU have the time – allows you to build meaningful relationships with mentees without any travel time or difficult scheduling conflicts. Build an online relationship that will help your mentee learn about themself – their interests, passions, strengths and challenges – and to make good life decisions about school, future careers and college opportunities.

Become an E-Mentor!

To learn more about icouldbe and to become a mentor today:

Click here to begin your registration.

  1. Complete the Registration Form
  2. Complete your Background Check
  3. Begin to E-mentor

If you are already a mentor please help us spread the word!  Invite your family, friends, and colleagues to become a mentor today by sharing this post and the registration link.

Thank you for your support

and for being a part of the icouldbe community!

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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.

How can volunteering just a few minutes of your time make a change?

Finding the time to make a positive impact is easier than most people think. Since time is such a limited resource for a lot of working professionals, many ask: how can I find the time to volunteer and give back?

While many think volunteering requires large amounts of time, giving back & making an impact can be as simple and convenient as committing one hour per week. There are dozens of organizations geared towards those of us who have busy schedules, can’t take time off of work or who need the weekends to recharge after a long week. Living in an increasingly digital world, there are plenty of ways to get involved that can make a positive impact on individuals all around the globe.

  • Get Social for Social Change: Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest allow people to help out with a simple click of a mouse. By “liking” a nonprofit page on Facebook you can help publicize an organization’s mission, spreading the word to the hundreds of people who see your newsfeed each day. You can even tag organizations in your own posts with a personalized message to friends asking them to get involved.
  • Play to your Strengths: Websites like Volunteer Match, Catch-A-Fire and Sparked pair people with social organizations that match a user’s profile preferences. These resources make finding the perfect match easier than ever, eliminating the daunting process of wading through group after group as you try to find the association that’s right for you.
  • Make a Difference with Time Online: icouldbe.org is always looking for new mentors on all career trajectories and all we ask for is one hour per week per mentee – a manageable time commitment for even the busiest professional. Plus, with our online platform you can help an at-risk student from anywhere in the US gain important academic skills and guide them towards a successful future.
  • Be an Engine of Change: Search engines like GoodSearch offer donations to your nonprofit or school of choice. Every time you search, a penny is put towards your cause. Think about how often you use Google every single day and it becomes clear just how quickly donations can add up.

These are just a few examples of how digital tools can bring about definite, quantifiable change in just a few minutes to an hour. By taking advantage of the various online options available today, all you need to do is choose which give-back method works best for you. Sometimes, all it takes is one click.

Photo Credit: John Ward on Flicker's Creative Commons

Photo Credit: John Ward on Flicker’s Creative Commons

And the Teacher of the Year is…

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bryan Voeltner for winning the 2012 icouldbe Teacher of the Year Award.  We honor Mr. Voeltner, a founding teacher of the Academy of Information and Technology at Hoover High School in San Diego, CA for his extraordinary commitment to his students.  As an 18 year veteran teacher in Hoover’s Technology Support and Global Information Systems programs, Bryan has delivered icouldbe’s program for six years, helping us serve nearly 600 students with our career exploration and college preparation e-mentoring program.  This year there are currently 80 students enrolled who are paired with 126 mentors from a wide variety of industries.

Bryan’s hard work is evident in the achievements of his students and his support of the icouldbe.org program.  His students have consistently exceeded the goals of the curriculum due in large part to his hard work and support. Mr. Voeltner states, “As a College and Career Technical Educator, the icouldbe program has been instrumental in helping me ensure that my students have a solid background in what it takes to choose, prepare for, and be successful in a career.  The icouldbe curriculum has helped open doors for my students to view the larger world outside of their immediate community. The activities they complete have the greatest benefits in the areas of communication, research, and planning.”  His students will far exceed the  goal of completing 19 curricular activities for the 2012-2013 school year as they have already completed 17 curricular activities at this mid-point in the school year.

Elizabeth Lang, the icouldbe.org Program Manager states, “I thoroughly enjoy working with Bryan because of his enthusiasm, reliability and energy in the classroom. His exceptional professionalism and extraordinary teaching skills have motivated the students to achieve their potential.”

Accolades ring across the entire organization.  Kate Schrauth, Executive Director at icouldbe adds, “Bryan is always there for us.  Just as we constantly encourage our students to be life-long learners, we know we must always be a learning organization as well.  Bryan has dedicated countless hours outside of the classroom to assist us in our quest to apply all we have learned over these many years so that we can provide the very best experience to our students.  We are honored to have Bryan on our team.”

It is our distinct honor to name Bryan Voeltner as the 2012 Teacher of the Year!