Tag Archives: technology

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.)

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.

 

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!

Mentor spotlight: Megan R.

I absolutely love icouldbe.org and have been honored to work with some amazing kiddos. My role as an icouldbe.org mentor is intended to encourage at-risk youth through career and college exploration, but I have unexpectedly benefited much more than any of my students.

I have grown tremendously as a person by seeing the growth of my mentees as they work though the curriculum and develop perseverance and clear goals.  I will admit that some mentees can be challenging at first, but watching their mindset transition from apathetic to dynamic is the most rewarding aspect of this program.  I personally am thankful to have been connected to over a dozen wonderful students, most all who are interested in the medical industry.

As a Neurophysiologist, I am excited to offer practical guidance to motivated students with hopes to pursue their lofty dreams of Graduate or Medical school, even if they don’t initially think it’s possible. Guiding mentees one step at a time through tough choices is thrilling, and promoting pro-activity while they explore their career options allows them to pursue a track that is both realistic and achievable. Seeing the students feel solidly prepared to face those challenging decisions ahead of them is uplifting, and I thank icouldbe.org  for including me in their wonderful program!

-Megan R., Dallas, TX

icouldbe.org STEM mentors will help students with science projects this year!

We’re very excited to announce a new partnership that will provide students working on science projects with dedicated online mentors in STEM fields!

In case you’re unaware, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There is a dire need in the U.S. for people to fill STEM careers; there are many science and technology job openings, but not enough people to recruit. A major place where this problem can be addressed is within our education system.

There is an amazing initiative happening in upstate New York called the Dr. Nelson Ying Tri Region Science & Engineering Fair (Ying TRSEF). The fair was created to allow students to explore their talents and challenge their minds in STEM fields. It’s available to students in grades 5-12 throughout 24 counties, which until 2006 had no regional access to the International Science and Engineer Fair.

This year, a group of these students will have the help of eMentors (provided by icouldbe.org!) during the creation of their science projects.

Ying TRSEF is engaging in a pilot program with icouldbe.org to provide students building their science projects with volunteer eMentors employed in STEM careers. These volunteers will mentor the students through the process of preparing for the fair on March 17 and 18. Using the icouldbe.org discussion boards, each mentor will help her mentee identify the science fair topic/question, make a plan to gather data to answer said question, understand ethical and safety procedures and analyze data and draw conclusions.

At the conclusion of the fair, mentors and mentees will continue the mentoring partnership by transitioning to the icouldbe.org curriculum. The mentors will then guide students through units that will help them identify future goals specific to post-secondary education and careers in various sectors.

We’re hopeful that this is just the beginning of a much bigger initiative to mentor students and create an interest in STEM careers. With mentors who already have vast experience and a passion for jobs in these fields, who better to pair with students to help them realize their capabilities and dreams?

Next month we’ll post an update from the science fair on March 17-18. We can’t wait to see what these kids create!

For more information on Ying TRSEF, visit www.yingtrsef.org.

Photo credits:
science lab counter. March 6, 2009 Meghan McDonald on Flickr.com Creative Commons