For the past 15 years, iCouldBe has been helping students discover and plan for creative, meaningful and productive adult lives. Our mission is to provide at-risk middle and high school students with an online community of professional mentors, empowering teens to stay in school, plan for future careers, and achieve in life.
iCouldBe’s story began in 2000–just two years after Google opened their first office and five years before YouTube launched. In the middle of the Internet revolution, iCouldBe developed one of the earliest e-mentoring platforms designed to bring the power of mentoring to at-risk youth across the US. With 1.2 million youth dropping out of school each year, 16 million students in need of a mentor and high school students only receiving 10 minutes per year of guidance counseling, the US was and continues to face an educational crisis.
iCouldBe realized early on that mentoring could make the difference in a child’s life if we could bring successful, caring adults right into the classrooms of at-risk youth, using technology as the connector but, most importantly, engaging a diverse community of mentors to spend one hour per week with their mentees to guide, coach, and support them to find success in school and plan for bright futures. It’s the relationships between youth and adults that help our kids succeed!
Since 2000 iCouldBe has continued to refine and evolve our program to provide a highly interactive experience to more than 19,000 students with e-mentors who have spent over 220,000 hours completing our evidence-based curricular activities to help succeed in school and in life.
Kate Schrauth, Executive Director
When Kate was young she dreamed she could be a pediatrician so she could help children. Her most influential mentor was a masterful community organizer who taught Kate how to see and hear the needs of the whole community.
Kate studied political science with a focus on social movements at Boston University and for the past 25 years has created, led or grown youth-driven organizations such as Artists for Humanity, Harvard Student Agencies, and Jumpstart.
Today Kate helps iCouldBe live its mission to help thousands of teens reach their true potential and is especially passionate about engaging the many mentors, schools, companies, and supporters who make mentoring possible.
When she’s not leading iCouldBe to new heights, you can find Kate cooking gourmet meals for family, friends, and colleagues, remodeling a room in her home with her talented husband Brian or walking her dogs, Bandit and Finn, on the beach.
Talisa Anderson, Program Manager
When Talisa was young she dreamed she could be a cultural ambassador who traveled across continents immersing herself in all the shades of beauty the world has to offer. Her first mentor was her high school guidance counselor who believed in Talisa’s voice and vision and taught her to use both to positively impact the world around her.
Talisa received a BA in International Relations from Tufts University and has since worked to empower marginalized communities and promote cross-cultural exchange in schools and non-profits in Asia, the United States and Western Europe. Over the past 9 years, she has advocated for survivors of trauma with the Crime Victims Treatment Center, counseled ESOL adults at University Settlement, and mentored low-income youth at George Jackson Academy.
Today Talisa helps iCouldBe manage communication with stakeholders, risk assessment, and synthesization of data. She’s passionate about seeing mentees breathe life into their dreams with the encouragement of their mentors.
When she’s not connecting with teachers and mentors, you can find her meditating at a yoga class, exploring cities near and far with friends, and enjoying the company of her wonderful family.
Denevia Archer-Mullings, Program Manager
When Denevia was a child she dreamed of being a teacher. Her first mentor was her older sister who taught her how to persevere when faced with adversity, and that every day that you wake up, life offers you a chance to grow, be a better person, and become the person you dream of becoming.
Denevia received a Master’s degree from the City College of New York. She first started counseling underserved populations during her undergraduate years at Brooklyn College. She spent the past 10 years working with disabled children and adults, formerly incarcerated high-school students, foster families, and inner-city students.
Today, Denevia serves as a Program Manager at iCouldBe, where she manages a portfolio of schools and serves as a liaison between mentors, mentees, and teachers. She’s especially passionate about providing at-risk students with the opportunity to succeed and loves hearing about mentees’ success stories.
When she’s not managing programs, Denevia enjoys spending time with her husband, sisters and parents, cooking, reading and watching movies.
M. Michelle Derosier, Director of Programs
When Michelle was in fifth grade she read Anne Frank’s Diary and dreamed that she too could write to change the world. Her first non-family mentor was her childhood pastor who taught her to see strength in her ability to listen and to measure her words.
As an undergraduate at SUNY New Paltz, Michelle supervised the campus crisis/non-crisis center and conducted extensive mental health and sexual assault trainings for students and staff members. That experience left her with the distinct understanding that she makes the greatest long-term impact when she nurtures, trains, and supports others to provide a voice to the voiceless. Since graduating in 2003, Michelle earned a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University, worked with Kaplan, Inc. to manage tutors delivering supplemental educational services to students in low-performing NYC schools, and kicked off her career with iCouldBe in the role of E-Mentoring Manager and then transitioned to Associate Director of Programs.
Today Michelle helps iCouldBe manage, sustain, and grow program relationships with national and international corporate, community, and school partners. She is especially passionate about finding and bringing opportunity and hope to underserved communities who would otherwise be without.
When Michelle is not leading the program team in developing policies and procedures to deliver a high-impact mentoring experience, you can find her learning to code, writing her imagination, glued to a book, taking road trips, or out in nature hiking and running (Tortoise, not Hare).
Madeline Giscombe, Curriculum Developer
When Madeline was a child, she dreamed that she could be an actress and an astronaut while running a store on the side (that offered free goods to those who couldn’t afford them). Her most important mentors were her parents who taught her the importance of seeing and appreciating the needs and perspectives of others.
Madeline studied Urban Studies at Cornell University and Educational Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After Madeline received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell, she spent more than 5 years working in the nonprofit sector to create opportunities for success for low-income communities, with a focus on at-risk youth. She enjoyed offering a wide variety of services as a Resident Services Coordinator at several low-income housing developments and ran a successful free-store (well, a food bank). While working on her Master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, she adjusted her focus to include using educational technology to bridge the academic achievement gap. She’s passionate about using educational technology to enhance learning and encourage creative self-expression.
Today Madeline helps iCouldBe as a Curriculum Developer for a new and exciting curriculum! She especially enjoys working with such a great and exceptionally creative team, and integrating elements of games into the curriculum.
When she’s not working on the curriculum, you can find Madeline playing with her dogs and husband on the beach, or working on a goofy animation to post on YouTube.
Elizabeth Lang, Senior Program Manager
When Liz was young she dreamed she could be an Interpretative Dancer/Marine Biologist. Her most important influential mentor was a deaf professor whose passion for art and music taught her to recognize everyone’s limitless potential.
Liz received a BA in Psychology and Fine Art from the University of Delaware in 2011 and is currently pursuing her Masters in Creative Art Therapy at Hofstra University. She spent her time building management and mentoring skills first as intern for iCouldBe, then a Program Manager, and currently a Senior Program Manager.
Today Elizabeth helps iCouldBe manage classrooms sponsored by corporate organizations supporting mentees, mentors, and teachers through community engagement, social media, mentor calls, and the iCouldBe newsletter. She especially enjoys witnessing mentee personalities develop in the iCouldBe curriculum.
When she’s not online you can find Elizabeth at the beach enjoying the sun, sand, and surf with lots of SPF.
Wendy Siegelman, Chief Operating Officer
When Wendy was in high school she dreamed she could be a professional dancer or a painter. Her first mentor was her ballet teacher who taught Wendy how to persevere through difficulty and pain to reach her goals.
After Wendy received a BA from Vassar College, she spent 20+ years building website development and business skills as Director of Marketing at the American Stock Exchange, Vice President of Content and Product Development at Pershing (a Bank of New York company) and Director of Product Management at Dow Jones.
Today Wendy helps iCouldBe manage evaluation and metrics, curriculum development, technology requirements, grant writing, financials, project management, and marketing. She especially loves being surprised by the unexpected and often brilliant ideas iCouldBe mentees share.
When she's not keeping the back-end operations running smoothly, you can find Wendy writing, reading, doing yoga, taking long walks around the city or dabbling with her website www.creativityfuse.com.
Bill Silverman, Chief Technology Officer
When Bill was in high school he dreamed he could be a Marine Biologist. Bill's most important mentors were his parents who showed him that through patience and hard work the most difficult goals could be reached.
In college, Bill realized he enjoyed the quantitative skills of Physics more than Biology. After studying Physics and Computer Science, Bill received a BS from SUNY Stony Brook. He worked for several years as a scientist, then as a engineering manager for a high-tech instrumentation company. After that, Bill started a software business, and now has over 15 years of programming experience working with online communities, including many nonprofits. He has developed dozens of websites and desktop applications and specializes in database programming.
Today Bill is responsible for the development and maintenance of the iCouldBe website. He loves learning new technology and helping the staff develop exciting and fun ways to provide the best virtual mentoring environment on the internet.
When Bill is not programming, you can find him at work in his garden or trying to figure out how to raise aquatic plants.
Benjamin Taylor, Finance Manager
When Benjamin was in elementary school he dreamed of being an adventurer and explorer, traveling the world (or the woods behind his house) and discovering new animals. His early mentor was a teacher in elementary school who encouraged his curiosity and joy of learning.
After receiving his BS in Business Administration he worked as manager of a Tennis & Fitness club before moving in to the not-for-profit arena. He has spent 8+ years working with not-for-profits in various capacities including auditor, accountant, financial reporting systems consultant, and trainer.
Today he helps iCouldBe maintain their accounting records, financial reporting, and budget development among other tasks.
When he’s not balancing the books, you can find Benjamin water skiing and attempting to learn how to slalom.
Board of Directors
Officers of the Board of Directors
Executive Director - iCouldBe
Kate Schrauth, Executive Director and former Chair of the iCouldBe Board of Directors, has the primary responsibility of successfully managing and scaling iCouldBe to serve thousands of students throughout the US. With over 22 years of nonprofit leadership experience, Ms. Schrauth has played a variety of roles including Founder and Director of Artists for Humanity & City Teens Design Company, and has held a variety of roles at organizations including Jumpstart, New School University and Harvard University.
Members of the Board of Directors
Dynamic Growth Strategist - Advocacy Institute
Rolando Brown is a dynamic growth strategist, web developer and artist focused on the growth of social enterprises. He currently serves as the Growth Strategist and Engineer for the Advocacy Institute. He drives advancement of the Advocacy Institute's technology tools and infrastructure. An award winning Community Developer, Artist, and Entrepreneur, Rolando cultivated his blended approaches to infrastructure development and capacity building while working as a consultant for several startups, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. A founding member of projects like the Hip-Hop Association, MVMT, and Embassy MVMT, Rolando has received a Union Square Award for his work and appeared on BBC World News, NPR, WBAI, and LatinNation. He's also been featured in several books on youth and urban culture and presented at conferences across the globe. Rolando majored in Leadership and Management Studies at New York University and continues to study human aspiration, cooperation, and conflict. Rolando also serves on the Board of Directors of the following organizations: iCouldBe.org, ParentsTogether Action, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), and the Hip-Hop Education Center at NYU Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. He splits his time between Brooklyn, NY, and Philadelphia, PA.
Assistant Director of Career Services - NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Rachel DuBois is the Assistant Director of Career Services at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In her role, Rachel draws on her extensive experience in higher education and her passion for public service to provide holistic career counseling to Wagner students and alumni. Prior to joining the team at Wagner, Rachel served as a two time AmeriCorps volunteer, worked in development at a national literacy organization, taught in kindergarten and college classrooms, partnered with non-profits from New Mexico to New York, and managed and expanded service programs at NYU. A champion of non-linear career paths, Rachel enjoys helping people articulate and achieve the next best steps in their professional journey. She has a Masters degree in Children's and Adolescent Literature from Eastern Michigan University and a Bachelors degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Georgia.
Based near Cambridge, MA, Tim Jones has worked for 20 years within the children's trade and educational publishing industry as an illustrator and designer, with a focus on emerging technology, for companies including Pearson Education, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, WGBH Boston, and Little, Brown. Tim recently developed the I See I Learn book series with Charlesbridge Publishing, which helps young children learn the social, emotional, and cognitive skills they need to prepare for school through simple stories and visual learning strategies. Previously, he was a co-founder of Asheville, NC-based Soomo Publishing, a pioneer in the development of online, customizable web texts for professors and students. He has taught art and design from the elementary to undergraduate level at non-profits, Quincy College, and RISD.
Ashley Morse, MSW, ACSW
Family Consultant - Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center
Ashley is an Associate Clinical Social Worker and Family Consultant for Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center. Ashley is passionate in providing counseling, advocacy, and social services to youth and family caregivers of physically and cognitively impaired adults. She received her Master's in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento with the support and guidance of her former iCouldBe mentor. Ashley has worked in both county and nonprofit organization serving both youth and older adults. Her goal and passion is to unite youth and seniors through inter-generational enriching experiences. (iCouldBe Mentee 2005 - 2007)
Jeremy A. Weinstein - Strategic Development & Fundraising Solutions
Jeremy is Director of Development for KCRW, a National Public Radio station member. Up until recently he was the Principal Consultant for a boutique Nonprofit Consulting firm. He graduated from Lafayette College and received a master's in Nonprofit Management from New School University. Prior to developing his own consulting practice he worked for the Fund for Public Schools at the New York City Department of Education under the Bloomberg Administration. Jeremy is an accomplished development professional with more than 17 years of experience in large grant and major gift solicitation, donor and institutional stewardship, and board advancement for nonprofit organizations. To date he has successfully secured and managed more than $150 million in private and government funding. Jeremy's executive level development experience is grounded in finely focused strategic planning for and implementation of requests for philanthropic support and donor cultivation. Through his professional and personal community involvement activities in Los Angeles, New York City and nationwide, he has built strong relationships in public and private sectors. When Jeremy is not immersed in his work, he is traveling, exercising, cooking and enjoying the beauty of Southern California.
Adam Aberman - Board Member Emeritus
CEO and Founder - The Learning Collective
Adam is the CEO and Founder of The Learning Collective. Adam has been the lead on many of The Learning Collective’s digital learning projects. Adam has also evaluated over 50 charter schools nationwide. Previously, Adam was the Director of Global Digital Strategy for Ashoka’s Youth Venture, which helps teams of youth in 20 countries launch socially responsible businesses and organizations. Prior to Ashoka, Adam was the Executive Director and Founder (and currently Board Member) of iCouldBe, the non-profit Internet-based career mentoring program that has served over 27,000 teens and e-mentors nationwide and in Tanzania. Before establishing iCouldBe, Adam was a Regional Coordinator for the New York City Department of Education. Adam began his career in education as a Spanish bilingual public school teacher in Los Angeles. Adam received a B.A. from Vassar College and a Masters in Public Policy, with an emphasis on Education, from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. A frequent speaker at conferences, Adam has also won numerous awards including Cause Marketing Silver Halo Award for Best Use of Social Media (2009) and International Computerworld Magazine Honors Finalist Award (2002).