About UsBeyond 12 is a national nonprofit organization that was founded in 2009 to increase the number of traditionally underserved students who earn a college degree. By integrating personalized coaching with intelligent technology, Beyond 12 bridges the gap between K-12 and higher education to ensure that all students succeed in college.
Beyond 12 was founded by entrepreneur Alexandra Bernadotte who drew inspiration to create the organization from her own experience. Bernadotte's parents immigrated to the United States from Haiti when she was just a baby, leaving her with her beloved grandmother so they could secure a better life -- which they knew started with a high-quality education and a college degree -- for her and her younger sister. She was eventually reunited with her parents as a young girl in inner city Boston and, with their unending support, worked diligently to gain acceptance to a 4-year college. As the first in her immediate family to attend college, Bernadotte's transition from high school to college was extremely difficult. For 17 years, she had focused on doing whatever it took to get in, but she was not prepared for her college journey. Although she struggled initially, she eventually found her footing and graduated from Dartmouth College, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college.
While coaching aspiring college students at Foundation for a College Education (FCE), a college access and success organization in the low-income community of East Palo Alto, California, Bernadotte found that she was able to guide individual students and families toward success, but knew that the problem also called for a systemic solution. She wanted to change the institutions in her students' educational stories -- the high schools from which they graduated and the colleges in which they enrolled. As an associate partner and then entrepreneur-in-residence at NewSchools Venture Fund, Bernadotte surveyed the landscape and identified a strong need for an organization that could not only address the need for student support on the road from a high school diploma to a college degree, but would also connect high schools and colleges by allowing the two systems to share critical data about student progress. In the fall of 2009, Beyond 12 began operations as CollegeSUCCESS, piloting an early alumni tracking platform with a small group of college-preparatory charter schools in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Today, Beyond 12 has developed a robust alumni tracking platform, a facebook student engagement application and a personalized coaching service that helps high schools and colleges across the country ensure that students succeed in college -- and beyond.