Alexandra Bernadotte, Founder & CEO
Lindsey Adams, College Coach
Jazmin Betancourt, College Coach
Cat Boroff, Director of Strategy & Operations
Kevin Brown, College Coach
Eboni Dunbar, College Coach
Isabel Glaese, College Coach
Lelia Johnson, Program Manager, San Francisco
Ji Hea Kim, Strategic Project Manager
Trang Luong, College Coach
Elisabeth Magana, College Coach
Meron Mesfine, Program Manager, Atlanta
Megan Slater, Product Director
|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.
|Lindsey Adams is an Afro-Korean first-generation college graduate who grew up in Vallejo, California. Lindsey graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in African-American Studies. Her experience of attending school in an under-resourced school district informed much of her community work while attending UCLA. She worked as a peer adviser to low-income minority high school students from an access organization called Students Heightening Academic Performance through Education (SHAPE), volunteered as a summer literacy tutor with Project Literacy, and served as a mentor with Mentorship at UCLA. Lindsey attributes her academic success to the supportive peer advising she received through the Academic Supports Program. Prior to joining Beyond 12, Lindsey was the Program Manager with the Apache Academy After-School Program at her former high school, where she led credit-recovery courses for students. She noticed a similar need expressed by her students from Vallejo to Los Angeles: to find compassionate guidance and resources that will enable them to pursue successful futures after high school graduation. Lindsey's experiences have reinforced her goal as a Beyond 12 college coach to provide students with the mentorship and academic support to overcome the barriers to college success.
|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.
|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.
|Kevin Brown is a Bay Area native who grew up in Oakland and graduated from the University of California, Davis (UCD) with a bachelor's degree in sociology and an emphasis in law. While at UCD, Kevin was an academic advisor through Upward Bound where he helped low-income, first-generation high school students in the Vallejo and Sacramento areas. After graduating, he continued working with Upward Bound as a residential advisor in their Summer Program. Through his experience there, Kevin discovered a passion for working with youth and went on to become a counselor at Seneca Center, a group home for young boys and girls who had experienced extreme physical and emotional trauma in their childhoods. For three years he dedicated himself to helping youth make progress towards behavioral, personal, and academic goals. After Seneca Center, Kevin returned to working with high school students through College Summit and BUILD, where he helped students develop personal statements and navigate the college application process. Through his experiences in counseling and education, Kevin developed a strong commitment to youth advocacy and community service which he brings to the college coach position at Beyond 12.
|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.
|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 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 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.
|Trang Luong graduated from San Francisco State University with a master's in college counseling and an emphasis in career counseling. As a first generation college student, Trang experienced firsthand the struggles of navigating through college. She started her college journey at City College of San Francisco (CCSF), where she was thoroughly confused and lost with the unfamiliar college system, but with the help of a passionate and supportive counselor, Trang was able to transfer to San Francisco State University (SFSU) as a psychology major. Inspired by this dedicated counselor, Trang decided to pursue a career in college counseling so she could provide knowledge, support, and encouragement to other students from underserved backgrounds. While at SFSU, Trang worked at the Student Outreach Services office and performed outreach activities at community colleges such as CCSF where she helped many other college students who had similar experiences to hers. This experience solidified her decision to become a college counselor and led to her current role as a college coach at Beyond 12.
|Elisabeth Magana, a native of East Palo Alto, received her degree in Chicano Studies with a concentration in Education from the University of California of Los Angeles (UCLA).
Her experiences in her community and as the first in her family to graduate from college underscore her passion for youth development and educational access. As the services coordinator at Nugent Square Apartments, a low income apartment complex, she developed the curriculum for a youth summer enrichment program and founded a volunteer-based tutoring program for elementary and middle school students. Elisabeth benefited greatly from having mentors who guided her through school and was driven to increase mentorship opportunities for others. Through Communities In Schools she helped develop a program that recruited UCLA students to serve as mentors for at risk teenagers. As a mentor for Latinas Guiding Latinas, she encouraged young girls to graduate from high school and pursue a higher education. Elisabeth is excited to share her passion and guide Beyond 12 students to help make the unfamiliar experience of attending college less daunting and more fulfilling.
|Meron Mesfine, a first-generation Ethiopian-American who is the first in her family to attend college, was raised in East Palo Alto, California. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2009 with a degree in urban studies and planning. While at UCSD, she was a member of the McNair Scholars Program and served as a resident advisor, orientation leader, and executive board member for the Black Student Union (BSU). As a resident advisor, she was responsible for nearly 60 students, providing them with both social and academic advice. Similarly, as an orientation leader, she served as a campus ambassador, welcoming incoming freshmen and connecting them with campus resources. As an executive board member for the BSU, she worked on campus to address issues of diversity and worked tirelessly in the San Diego community to educate high school students about the importance of a college education. Meron also worked as a teacher's assistant at Garfield Continuation School. With both work and volunteer experience in education, student affairs and counseling, Meron is passionate about ensuring that all Beyond 12 students succeed in college.
|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.