Tag Archives: students

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:

http://storify.com/icouldbeorg/mentornextgen

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!

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National Mentoring Month Spotlight: Bronx Teacher Shares icouldbe Experience

MS 254 in Bronx, New York would like to thank icouldbe for allowing our students to be a part of such an enlightening program for a second year. We have evolved from 30 students participating last year to 175 students participating this year. icouldbe provides an opportunity to empower students to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. There is not one fix for any student when trying to develop a connection between school and the future accomplishments within an adolescent mind, but icouldbe is the right fit for many students in our program. The students are developing skills that will allow them to make informed decisions about the path their future will take.

Students are reading, writing, and thinking about real life desires and possibilities they used to only associated with others. With the help of icouldbe, the students can now place themselves in those roles. Mentors are explaining how they use math and science as well as language and social studies in their daily lives and in their careers. Based on the conversations students are having with their mentors, the students are developing new ideas.

The mentors are phenomenal! If you are a mentor reading my blog post, let me thank you for giving your time and care to your mentees. I appreciate your answering their posts with feedback that helps them formulate goals that are attainable and make a connection between academics and the student’s chosen path. I was really impressed when one of our mentors reached out with concern about their mentee who had lost interest in posting. I was able to locate the student and discuss her mentor’s concern. Before, she felt like it was just a school commitment, but now she knows how much her mentor truly cares about her, her wellbeing, and her success.

icouldbe helps our students think about their dream and see their dream in order to live it.

-Ms. Frazier, MS 254 in Bronx, New York

Ms. Frazier is an educator from Conway, South Carolina currently teaching in the Bronx. She has 24 years of experience and is a life-long learner.Image

#icbchat transcript: 8/1

If you weren’t able to attend our first ever Twitter Chat last Wednesday, never fear: we’ve compiled the conversation via Storify. Storify is an easy-to-use service that allows you to display and curate social media conversations or events.

Here’s the link to August 1st’s #icbchat: http://storify.com/icouldbeorg/icbchat

And now for an exciting announcement! The next #icbchat is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5th. Time, topic and co-hosts TBD. So stay tuned!

Is there anything you’d like to add to the content of this week’s chat? Questions, or comments?

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

Volunteer Week is here!

It’s one of our favorite times of the year – National Volunteer Week! This is a weeklong celebration when organizations all over the country thank the volunteers that are the very lifeblood of their cause. At icouldbe.org, that means taking a moment to thank our mentors.

It’s so exciting to have mentors volunteer from such a diverse collection of careers and industries – to be able to provide students with this expertise and advice is invaluable! Because of you, students all over the country are getting the support they need and deserve to be successful high school graduates and to see a new future that is full of possibilities.

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU icouldbe.org mentors!

You may remember back during January, we set a goal to recruit 500 new mentors. Happily, we’re very close to reaching the goal – we only need 50 more mentors (give or take) to sign up!

If you’re an icouldbe.org mentor, would you spread the word to your friends and coworkers who may be looking for a convenient – and rewarding – way to give back to today’s youth? And if you’re not – well, what are you waiting for?

Happy Volunteer Week!