Alexandra Bernadotte, Founder & CEO

alex bernadotte   Alex Bernadotte has more than 15 years of executive management and strategic development experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Before creating Beyond 12, she served as an Associate Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education for low-income children, where she oversaw the firm's work to build community and share knowledge among its entrepreneurs, and also guided the organization's efforts to ensure that its portfolio organizations prepare students to not only attend college, but to persist and graduate. In 2009, Alex became an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NewSchools, where she developed the business plan for Beyond 12.

Alex's previous professional experience includes serving as executive director of The Princeton Review's Silicon Valley office, co-founder and vice president of marketing and online strategy at educational travel startup Explorica, director of operations at EF Education, and operations manager at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where she coordinated the efforts of an international youth substance abuse prevention foundation. Alex was also the executive director of Foundation for a College Education (FCE), a nonprofit in East Palo Alto, California, whose mission is to increase the number of students of color who enroll in and graduate from college. She recently completed a 3-year term as president of the FCE board of directors, currently serves on the FCE advisory board as well as the board of directors of Juma Ventures.

Alex received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and earned a master's degree with a concentration in policy and organizational leadership from Stanford University. In 2011, Alex won the NewSchools Venture Fund Entrepreneur of the Year award. She was recently selected as an Ashoka Fellow, one of the highest honors for social entrepreneurs in the world, and won a 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service. In addition, Beyond 12 was recognized as a "top startup nonprofit" working in the field of education by Philanthropedia (a division of GuideStar), an organization working to help donors make smarter donations by connecting them with some of the highest impact nonprofits in a cause.

Jazmin Betancourt, College Coach

jazmin betancourt   Jazmin Betancourt graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (Cal) in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in both Peace and Conflict Studies and History of Art. As a first-generation Latina college student, Jazmin was determined to get involved on and off the Berkeley campus to make the most of her undergraduate experience. Through the work study program, Jazmin worked for Berkeley United in Literacy Development (BUILD), an organization that placed college tutors in low-income and low-performing Berkeley and Oakland public schools. As a BUILD Student Director, Jazmin was responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising a team of tutors to provide K-12 students with academic support and enrichment activities. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jazmin worked for two years with the Oakland-based consulting firm, Resource Development Associates (RDA), where she supported a wide array of evaluation projects. Jazmin collaborated with district leaders, teachers, parents, and students to evaluate the effectiveness K-12 after-school programs and services in the Mt. Diablo and Antioch Unified School Districts. Her collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data helped inform stakeholders about the strengths and challenges of after-school programs across 25 different schools - many of which used the report findings to improve program structures, increase parent involvement, and secure funding opportunities. Her experiences during and after college have inspired her to continue to pursue work in education and youth development. Jazmin strives to be a source of guidance and support for the Beyond 12 students she coaches.

Catherine Cruz Bioc, College Coach

catherine bioc   Catherine Cruz Bioc was born in the Philippines and migrated to Georgia in 1997. A graduate of Oxford College and Emory University, Cat majored in Sociology and minored in Community Building and Social Change. During her undergraduate career she largely focused her energies on student organizations whose missions pertained to creating positive impacts in the lives of youth and communities. These organizations included Bonner Leader, Oxfam Oxford, Resident Life and Housing, Volunteer Emory, and Committee for Civic Engagement. Catherine was also a Community Building and Social Change Fellow, where she worked alongside Mayson Avenue Cooperative to help increase parent involvement at a local middle school. Catherine is a first generation college student herself and she feels very grateful for all the opportunities, resources, and support that she received through her college experience. She is excited to be able to continue to give back and be a resource for Beyond 12 students.

Cat Boroff, Director of Strategy & Operations

cat boroff   Cat Boroff brings to Beyond 12 extensive experience in strategy development and implementation. She consulted for both for-profit and non-profit organizations helping them create strategic plans, develop actionable insights through analytics and manage stakeholder interests. Within the education space, Cat has worked with urban school districts, state department of education, universities and foundations on strategic issues including educator effectiveness, school performance metrics development and drop-out student engagement. As a Principal with The Parthenon Group, she helped write Ohio's Race to the Top application that won $400 million from the U.S. Department of Education. She also worked at the Broad Foundation as a summer associate focusing on effective teacher contracts. Cat graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and received her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Eboni Dunbar, College Coach

eboni dunbar   Eboni Dunbar earned her bachelor's in English from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN and her Master's degree in Fine Arts with a Creative Writing emphasis at Mills College in Oakland, CA. As a first generation college student from a low-income family, the transition to college life was difficult. Although she received support getting into college, Eboni largely felt alone in the higher education system once she transitioned. She overcame her feeling of loneliness by creating new support systems on campus through participation in various activities and organizations. She became a Resident Advisor, served as president of the Black Liberation Affairs Committee, and co-chaired the Queer Union and Black Women of the Diaspora. While she enjoyed her path through college, Eboni began to see a need for additional support for students from low-income, underrepresented backgrounds. Watching her peers struggle and drop out in college drew Eboni to serve as a tutor at the Palo Alto Unified School District and eventually to Beyond 12, where she is excited to unite her passion for helping others succeed with her unique background to support student success through college and beyond.

Denise Geschke, Chief Evangelist

denise geschke   Denise Geschke joins Beyond12 with over 12 years of experience in education. She has taught economics, business and accounting at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California since 2001. Denise has also been actively involved in the Silicon Valley community as a tutor at Eastside Preparatory High School in East Palo Alto, a mentor for alumni of Summer Search, and an appointed member of the Community Advisory Council on Finance for the Los Altos K through 8 Unified School District. Denise originally became involved with Beyond 12 as a partner at Silicon Valley Venture Fund (SV2), a venture philanthropy partnership. Denise graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Economics and Business, earned a CPA in the State of California and received her M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.

Isabel Glaese, Senior College Coach

isabel glaese   Isabel grew up in El Paso, Texas, and moved to Georgia during her senior year of high school. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) where she double majored in Spanish and Education. Her Mexican-German heritage as well as her experiences growing up in a Latino community inspired her to volunteer at the Garnett Ridge Boys and Girls Club while attending UGA. There, she helped students from underserved backgrounds develop strong study skills to improve their performance in the classroom. Isabel also worked as a student teacher in Lawrenceville, GA. Students sought her out for guidance and she helped them overcome the numerous challenges that often stood in the way of their reaching their full potential. In addition to her work in education, Isabel served as a family legal assistant, focusing specifically on the needs and challenges of Latino families. All of these experiences solidified Isabel's understanding of the importance of mentorship and drove her to pursue the position as a Beyond 12 college coach.

Lelia Johnson, Program Manager

lelia johnson   Lelia Johnson graduated from the University of California, Davis (UCD) in June of 2010 with a degree in Community and Regional Development. Lelia was attracted to Beyond 12's mission and vision because she herself is a first-generation college graduate. Lelia began her college career at American River College, a 2-year school in Sacramento, California. After discovering her passion for working with youth as an at-risk youth mentor at Douglass Middle School in her hometown of Woodland, California, she transferred to UCD to pursue a degree in community development. During her time at UCD, Lelia was a founding member of two organizations: Nourish International, a student-run nonprofit whose mission is to eradicate poverty by engaging students and empowering communities, and NorCal Rotex, an extension of the Rotary International Youth Exchange program that recruits alumni to mentor current and future youth exchange students by helping them prepare for their exchanges abroad. As director of fundraising at Nourish International, Lelia and her team successfully funded two summer projects to build organic greenhouses in rural schools in Ecuador. She had the opportunity to volunteer at one of the project sites in Quito, Ecuador where she was able to witness firsthand the impact of her work. Lelia is excited to share her experiences with her students and wants to help them take advantage of the numerous resources available on their college campuses.

Ji Hea Kim, Strategic Project Manager

ji hea kim   Ji Hea Kim brings experience from both nonprofit and for profit organizations in the education sector. She has had a wide range of project management experience and is focused on taking a systems approach to drive greater student success in education. Her previous experience includes working with school districts and state departments of education to close the achievement gap in chronically low performing schools, evaluating social sector programs, designing and supporting online collaborative content management platforms, and teaching secondary school students in a classroom setting. As a Project Coordinator with the School Turnaround Group, she helped a school district realign its management structure to better accommodate and serve its 46,000 students. She also evaluated college access programs and childhood obesity programs as a Fellow at Root Cause and focused on supporting effective tech adoption in the education sector in her work as an independent consultant. Ji Hea graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology and in Urban Studies and received her M.A. from Stanford University in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis.

Nam Nguyen, College Coach

nam nguyen   Nam Nguyen was born in Vietnam and moved to the United States at the age of six with her family. Growing up, her parents always stressed the importance of doing well in school which helped her develop a high value for education. She began attending the University of Georgia (UGA) in the fall of 2008 where she studied psychology. Nam was very involved on campus; she was a member of several student organizations including Xi Delta Sorority, InterVarsity, and the Vietnamese Student Association. It was equally important to her to volunteer, specifically in positions that allowed her to work in the education field directly helping students. In her sophomore year, she tutored first grade students in an afterschool program at a local library in Athens, GA. She gained experience working with college students when she helped with UGA's International Student Orientation. As a college coach at Beyond 12, Nam hopes to get her students excited about their education and give them the necessary tools and resources they will need to be successful in college.

Lara Sidhu, College Coach

lara sidhu   Lara Sidhu grew up in Seattle, WA and moved to San Francisco to attend the University of San Francisco (USF). She recently graduated with Honors with a BA in Psychology. While at school, Lara served as an advocate for community engagement with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, becoming well versed in the inequalities present in the larger San Francisco community. Her interest in working in education developed as she became an academic advisor at Upward Bound, working with predominantly underserved students enrolled in the San Francisco Unified School District. Her undergraduate research on the impact of parental divorce on the relationships of ethnic minority adult children of divorce helped her to gain a greater perspective on working with diverse communities. As a Beyond 12 College Coach, Lara hopes to encourage her students to incorporate their own drive and motivation towards making their college career as successful as possible. She also aspires to support students in all aspects of their lives, while affecting long-term change in the greater educational system.

Megan Slater, Product Director

megan slater   Megan Slater is Product Director at Beyond 12, where she is responsible for the development of all aspects of the organization's intelligent technology platform, which is designed to ensure that all students succeed in college. Megan brings to Beyond 12 more than 12 years of experience in product and project management and global account management roles. Prior to joining Beyond 12, Megan was the director of the Web Tools Solutions Group at Aperian Global, where she oversaw all projects and development pertaining to the company's suite of software solutions, including the development of a cultural e-learning solution for the U.S. Army and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. Megan has also served as director of product management and of account management at The Princeton Review and at Embark in the admissions services division, where her responsibilities included university enrollment software, college guidance software, and college counseling services. She has also worked in sales for Oracle Corporation. Megan received her undergraduate degree with a major in English and a minor in German from Emory University.

Cinthya Vieyra, College Coach

cinthya vieyra   Cinthya Vieyra graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a minor in Leadership and Public Service. Growing up in a low income and under-resourced neighborhood, Cinthya noticed the importance of education at an early age. As an active participant of after school programs and college access organizations such as AVID and Peninsula College Fund, she received moral support, guidance, and encouragement from various mentors. While at NDNU she served as a mentor for the First Generation program and helped students navigate their first year of college, support them academically and socially, and encourage many to become connected to campus resources. In addition, she worked in various departments at NDNU including financial aid, admissions, student affairs, and the library. During her last year in college, she returned to her high school and provided college readiness workshops to seniors in the AVID program. Cinthya's personal experiences and drive towards increasing access to higher education are the reasons she is committed to helping others with similar backgrounds. As a Beyond 12 college coach she hopes to inspire and encourage students to reach their highest potential.

Katherine Zepeda, College Coach

katherine zepeda   Katherine Zepeda was raised in East Oakland where she graduated from Castlemont High School. She attended the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and earned her B.A. in Social Welfare with a minor in African American Studies. Katherine worked during weekends throughout college to support herself financially, giving her a strong understanding of how to balance the rigors of school and personal life. While at UCB, she explored various career options and interned with organizations such as East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, College Track, and Glide Memorial Foundation. As a senior in college, she published her research findings on after-school programs and co-chaired a campus organization called College Success Network at Cal, aimed at providing resources to incoming students. Because of the college support she received, Katherine wants to give back to her community by supporting underrepresented students of color pursuing higher education. As a College Coach at Beyond 12, she has come full-circle, partnering with some of the organizations that she was a part of as a student. Through this position, she aims to learn more about the higher education system and how to best help minority students achieve their college aspirations.