For the past 20 years, iCouldBe has helped mentees discover and plan for creative, meaningful and productive adult lives. Our story began in 2000 – two years after Google opened their first office and five years before YouTube launched. In the middle of the Internet revolution, we developed one of the earliest e-mentoring platforms designed to bring the power of mentoring to youth across the U.S.
iCouldBe realized early on that mentoring could make the difference in a child’s life by using technology as a connector to bring a diverse community of mentors right into the classroom 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. We empower mentees to choose their own e-mentors and to drive weekly online conversations on academic success, post-secondary education, work experience, exploring future careers and developing webs of support.
Our online e-mentoring platform, with advanced safety and security features, helps eliminate barriers for building relationships that arise from geography and time constraints or biases related to age, gender, race, and socio-economic status. Back end data science tools and visualizations ensure mentees and mentors are supported by teachers and staff with real-time interventions to achieve program outcomes.
Since 2000 we have delivered a unique innovative technology-based program model and structured evidence-based curriculum to 24,100+ mentees in under-resourced schools where systemic inequities often prevent students from reaching their full potential. iCouldBe mentors and mentees have spent over 305,000 hours collaborating to help mentees develop critical networking skills, to develop self-efficacy, academic and career skills, and to grow their webs of support.
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.
Denevia Archer-Mullings, Associate Director of Programs
When Denevia was a child she dreamed of being a teacher to help mold and inspire children to become their best selves. Her first mentor was her older sister who taught her how to persevere when faced with adversity, and that it’s never too late to learn from mistakes, evolve, and become the person you’ve always dreamed of.
Denevia earned a Master’s degree from the City College of New York and has worked over the past 13 years with multiple organizations developing and implementing programs, ensuring organizational goals are met or exceeded, and providing strategic management oversight.
Today, Denevia serves as the Associate Director of Programs at iCouldBe, where she helps to lead and grow the program management department, spearheads training development initiatives, and oversees a portfolio of partner-sponsored programs.
When she’s not managing programs, Denevia enjoys spending time with her husband, sisters and parents, cooking, reading and watching movies.
M. Michelle Derosier, Chief Program Officer
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.
Michelle is a multipotentialite and a human venn diagram: someone who has many interests and creative pursuits and is not limited to one career path. She is a nonprofit professional, a writer, a tech geek, a freelancer, and an entrepreneur. However, all her pursuits are driven by the desire to make a difference in her world for Christ, to bulldoze barriers to success for low-income youth and people of color, and to snatch back the Haitian narrative from the mainstream. She loves to partner with others to do the same so please reach out.
Today, Michelle helps to shape, lead and implement the program department’s strategic vision and direction to align with iCouldBe’s core mission. She is re-imagining iCouldBe’s back-end admin portal, using data-science learnings, to redesign the portal, with the ultimate goal of enabling administrators to scale, to be more efficient, and ultimately serve more mentees.
When she’s not leading the program team in delivering a high-impact mentoring experience, you can find Michelle learning to code, glued to a book, taking road trips, out in nature hiking and running (Tortoise, not Hare), and writing her imagination. Forthcoming 2019: Ruby Bridges: Get to Know the Girl Who Took a Stand for Education and Happy Harper: Grandpa Comes Home.
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.
Liz Ward, Program Manager
When Liz was in high school she dreamed about being a writer. Her first mentor was her Journalism teacher who taught her that hard work and perseverance pay off.
Liz received a Bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University. She first started working with underserved populations as a City Year New York corps member and senior corps member. After City Year, she spent the next few years working with high need communities, students, parents and community based organizations.
Today, Liz serves as a Program Manager at iCouldBe, where she manages a portfolio of schools and serves as a liaison between mentors, mentees, and teachers.
When she’s not managing programs at iCouldBe, Liz enjoys spending time with her family, baking and learning yoga.
Board of Directors
Rachel DuBois, Board Chair
Associate Director of Career Services and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Rachel DuBois is the Associate Director of Career Services and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In her dual roles Rachel draws on her extensive experience in higher education and her passion for public service to counsel students and alumni on career development and job search strategies, create career education programs, and develop job and internship leads. Read more... A champion of non-linear career paths, Rachel enjoys helping people articulate and achieve the next best steps in their professional journeys. She is a Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths coach and MBTI Practitioner. She holds a Masters degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Bachelors degree from the University of Georgia.
Jeremy Weinstein, Board Vice Chair
Head of Development at KCRW
Jeremy Weinstein is the Head of Development for KCRW where he provides leadership, direction and coordination for all fundraising strategies and activities. He is responsible for a team of 6 professionals tasked with raising all Major Gifts ($1,200+), Institutional Gifts, Planned Gifts, Donor Database Management and Board Development. While at KCRW he has more than tripled KCRW’s development revenue in less than 3 years. Read more... As a member of the executive team, he works in partnership with the president and organizational leadership to create and implement sound fundraising plans that beneficially advance common goals and strategic priorities. In addition, as a member of the executive team he leads the strategic planning process and helps institute new and enhanced processes/ systems in the organization. Prior to KCRW, Jeremy built his career in development & fundraising raising and managing more than $150 million. He consulted for numerous nonprofits as well as led nationwide fundraising efforts for The New Teacher Project, a national nonprofit. Also, he was Senior Portfolio Director at The Fund for Public Schools, an initiative of the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Strategic Partnerships for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In his three years at The Fund, Jeremy oversaw efforts to secure more than $40 million in funding. He has spearheaded a successful Ad Council application process for a national public education campaign. As Director of Development at Jumpstart for Young Children, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving school readiness for underserved children, he increased individual and corporate giving by 280 percent and 120 percent, respectively. 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.
Sy J. Klipsch-Abudu
Digital & Multimedia Strategist at Senior Producer at UltraViolet
Sy J. Klipsch-Abudu is a Brooklyn-based multimedia strategist who specializes in producing educational and social justice-focused content. With nearly a decade of experience in the nonprofit and education sectors, she is currently a Senior Producer for UltraViolet, where she produces digital campaigns. Sy earned a BFA in film and television from New York University. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife, Kait, and their cat, Pesto.
Matthew Estersohn, Board Treasurer
CPA at Marks Paneth LLP, Partner in the Nonprofit, Government & Healthcare Group
Matthew Estersohn, CPA is a Partner in the Nonprofit, Government & Healthcare Group at Marks Paneth with over 14 years of experience in providing accounting, auditing, tax and consulting eservices for nonprofit organizations. He has planned, coordinated and conducted audits for a wide range of nonprofits, including human service organizations, advocacy organizations, educational and cultural institutions, membership organizations, and private foundations. Read more... In addition, Mr. Estersohn performs audits of cost reports, including the New York State CFR, compliance audits, and audits of multi-employer and single employer pension plans (defined benefit and defined contribution). He has written reports for his clients on matters including operating efficiencies and best practices, internal controls, financial reporting, and governance and he has assisted with due diligence on nonprofit mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Estersohn has published articles and leads training seminars on various accounting and auditing matters affecting the nonprofit industry. Mr. Estersohn holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cornell University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. He volunteers his time serving on the Boards of local civic and charitable organizations.
Ashley Morse, MSW, ACSW
Associate Clinical Social Worker and Medical Social Worker at Kaiser Permanente
Ashley Morse is an Associate Clinical Social Worker and Medical Social Worker at Kaiser Permanente. Ashley is passionate in providing counseling, advocacy, and social services to disadvantaged individuals and communities. She received her Masters 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 organizations serving both youth and older adults. Read more... Her goal and passion is to unite youth and seniors through inter-generational enriching experiences. (iCouldBe Mentee 2005 – 2007)
Executive Director at 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.
Adam Aberman, Board Member Emeritus
CEO and Founder at 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).