Our Mission

One day, all students will have the opportunity to earn a college degree that provides them with meaningful economic and personal prospects. Beyond 12’s mission is to dramatically increase the number of low-income, first-generation, and historically under-represented students who graduate from college.

Through a longitudinal student tracking platform and a personalized student coaching service, Beyond 12 helps high schools, college access programs, and colleges provide their students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to succeed in higher education. By collecting and sharing longitudinal data that crosses K-12 and higher education, Beyond 12 not only provides students with differentiated coaching that ensures they earn a college degree, but also provides actionable feedback to high schools and programs about their college preparatory efforts, improves the retention work of colleges and universities by sharing data-driven insights gained from supporting students, and influences the national conversation about student success.

Our History

Beyond 12 was founded in 2009 by entrepreneur, Alexandra (Alex) Bernadotte, who drew inspiration to create the organization from her own experience as a first-generation college graduate. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Alex grew up in inner city Boston, the oldest daughter of immigrant parents who were determined to see her succeed. Like many first-generation college students, Alex struggled with the transition to college. Her first year at Dartmouth was tough. After years of hard work to get into college, Alex was shocked to realize that receiving her acceptance letter had been the easiest step. But she stuck it out, graduated in four years, and became the first in her immediate family to receive a college degree. The challenges Alex faced during those years at Dartmouth planted a seed for what she wanted to do: start an organization to ensure other first-generation college students wouldn’t struggle as she had.

Our Staff

Bold, innovative, and committed. The Beyond 12 team is a small but mighty force that draws on its own experiences and expertise to provide students – and their institutions – with the information and support they need to succeed. Join our team.

Leri Argueta

Senior College Coach

Leri graduated from the University of West Georgia with a B.A. in International Economic Affairs and Sociology. During his undergraduate career, he was heavily involved with organizations like the Latin American Association, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity. He also helped launch... Learn More

Donna Arriaga

Associate Director of Programs

Donna was born in New York to parents who emigrated from Guatemala. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school and pursue a college degree. She received a B.A. in Political Science, and Writing and Linguistics from Georgia Southern. Recently, she received a M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Georgia, with a concentration on higher education and nonprofits. Learn More

Etsil Arnold

College Coach

Etsil immigrated from Belize and attended high school in Inglewood, California, an underserved community in the Los Angeles area. Etsil graduated with a B.A. from San Francisco State University with a double major in English Literature and Race and Resistance Studies. During his college years he dedicated much of his time... Learn More

Juceliz Batista

College Coach

Juceliz grew up in New York City with a B.A. from Syracuse University in Economics and Public Policy with a concentration in Education, Health, and Human Policy. Due to her own experiences in the New York City public school system, Juceliz developed a passion and urge to give back to education, particularly to socially... Learn More

Alexandra Bernadotte

Founder & CEO

Alex has more than 18 years of executive management and strategic development experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Immediately before launching Beyond 12, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence at NewSchools Venture Fund where she conducted the research and developed the business plan for Beyond 12. Learn More

Corrina Calanoc

Data Engineer

Corrina graduated from UC Berkeley, majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Math and Science Education. Her mission to utilize technology to increase the presence of underrepresented communities in higher education led her to a summer internship at Beyond 12, that developed into a year-long internship, before culminating in assuming a full-time... Learn More

Catherine (Cat) Cruz Bioc

Senior Account Manager

Cat was born in the Philippines and moved to Georgia in 1997. A recent graduate of Oxford College and Emory University, Cat majored in Sociology and minored in Community Building and Social Change. As a first-generation college student, Cat was motivated to join programs focused on creating positive impact for youth and communities including... Learn More

Chris Co

Vice President of Products and Engineering

Chris has over 10 years of technical product and team leadership experience from Workday and eBay, where he led technical teams, developed product strategies, and hired and mentored dozens of college graduates through their post-college years. Chris has actively volunteered with College Track and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area and has... Learn More

Grace Gordon

College Coach

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Grace graduated from the UC Davis with a double major in English and Mathematics. Grace comes from a family of educators dedicated to educational equity. Grace passionately serves under-resourced communities, especially students majoring in STEM fields. After her work as a math teaching fellow at Summerbridge... Learn More

Willie King

College Coach

Willie is a Bay Area native who grew up in Oakland and San Leandro, CA. He earned his B.A. from the UC Davis with a major in Sociology and a minor in African and African American Studies. While attending UC Davis, Willie played Division I intercollegiate football and worked with the Concerned Parents Alliance and College Bound Brotherhood to promote... Learn More

Khadijah Powell

College Coach

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Khadijah graduated from the University of San Francisco (USF) where she earned her B.A. in Critical Diversity with a minor in African American Studies. As a first-generation college student, she sees educational access and support for underrepresented youth as her calling. Learn More

Adam Rosenzweig

Director of Business Development and Partnerships

Adam’s career has been dedicated to understanding the interconnected systems that affect young people in the U.S. He has a broad and diverse background that includes college admission, K-12 classroom instruction, policy, and technology. Prior to joining Beyond 12, Adam spent the last few years helping to grow... Learn More

Eve Shapiro

Senior Director of Data and Research

Drawing on a decade of experience in higher education and extensive research experience, Eve is dedicated to developing a robust and nuanced understanding of student success and persistence. Eve's previous experience includes teaching and advising at four universities, developing university-based mentorship programs for first-generation students, researching the efficacy of... Learn More

Lara Sidhu

Chief of Staff

Lara graduated with Honors with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Soon after, Lara joined Beyond 12 as a College Coach, supporting students through their Sophomore year in college. She is passionate about serving youth directly, while also working toward developing systemic interventions to support more equitable outcomes for all underserved students... Learn More

Dwight Smith

Associate Director of Programs

Dwight earned his B.S. in Community and Regional Development at UC Davis and joins Beyond 12 after 3 years with Net Impact, a nonprofit working to empower a new generation to drive social change. At Net Impact, Dwight built a national racial equity awareness initiative and helped to expand university chapters. Before that... Learn More

Ryan Smith

College Coach

Ryan grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Georgia State University, where he earned a B.A. in Psychology and Nonprofit Leadership. He worked with AmeriCorps as an academic mentor and believes that access to education empowers future leaders. Ryan credits his commitment, strong discipline, and work ethic, to his six older siblings... Learn More

Kris Starr

Senior Director of Talent

Kris has devoted her career to helping organizations find and develop talent and has led a variety of talent functions including recruitment, professional development, performance management, and coaching. Prior to Beyond 12, she was a Senior Director at Commongood Careers, a mission-driven search firm. Before that, she led professional... Learn More

Samantha Wenzel

College Coach

Samantha is a proud biracial Latinx who grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Communication. Living on the border of Napa and Vallejo, Samantha grew up observing the stark difference of accessible opportunity between affluent and low-income communities, and has dedicated her career to... Learn More

Arielle Wise

Data Analyst

Arielle joined Beyond 12 as a data analyst with a Master’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and a B.A. from UC Riverside. Prior to Beyond 12, Arielle was Associate Director at Mathnasium in Arlington, VA, and through her work with K-12 students she truly realized the importance of a college degree... Learn More

Katherine Zepeda

Associate Director of Programs

Katherine was raised in east Oakland and attended the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) where she earned a B.A. in Social Welfare and 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, work, and life. Learn More

Our Board

Beyond 12 Board members are dedicated and passionate about ensuring that all students have access to a quality education. Their experience spans the nonprofit, education, technology, entertainment, and financial services industries.

Ethan Beard

Entrepreneur in Residence, Greylock Partners

Prior to joining Greylock Partners, Ethan served as Director of the Facebook Developer Network, where he oversaw worldwide developer relations, operations and product marketing for the Facebook API. Prior, he served as Director of Business Development at Facebook leading the team responsible for... Learn More

Alexandra Bernadotte

Founder & CEO, Beyond 12

Alex has more than 18 years of executive management and strategic development experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Immediately before launching Beyond 12, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence at NewSchools Venture Fund where she conducted the research and developed the business plan for Beyond 12. Learn More

Natasha Dolby

Philanthropic Consultant

Natasha Dolby has spent over a decade in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., specializing in financial and programmatic analysis, marketing and communications, volunteer engagement, and corporate development, in several organizations including The Robin Hood Foundation, Education Sector... Learn More

Tyler Edelstein

Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer Ocean Endowment Partners

Tyler is the Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of Ocean Endowment Partners, an organization that aims to provide non-profit organizations and philanthropic individuals with excellence in investment management within a context of... Learn More

Renuka Kher

COO, Tipping Point Community

Renuka has over 14 years of experience in philanthropy and, through various roles, has helped direct over $100 million toward poverty alleviation. Prior to working at Tipping Point, Renuka served as a Principal at NewSchools Venture Fund. And prior to that she was a Senior Program Officer at the Robin Hood Foundation where her work included developing... Learn More

Barbara McAllister

Deputy Director of the Diversity In Technology Fund at Intel Corporation

Barbara leads the strategy and execution of Intel’s recently announced commitment of a $300M Diversity in Technology (DiT) Fund. Barbara works in collaboration with key stakeholders and respective fund decision makers on an integrated strategy that drives Intel’s funding... Learn More

Deborah McGriff

Managing Director, NewSchools Venture Fund (Board Chair)

Deborah has been committed to transforming the lives of underserved urban school students for more than four decades. In 1993, Deborah became the first public school superintendent to join Edison Learning (formerly Edison Schools). There, she held numerous positions including, President of Edison... Learn More

Scott Morgan

CEO & Founder, Education Pioneers (Board Secretary)

Scott is the Founder & CEO of Education Pioneers, an organization dedicated to identify, train, connect, and inspire 10,000 diverse leaders and managers working to accelerate systemic change across the education sector by EP's 20th anniversary in 2023. An educator, attorney, and social entrepreneur with... Learn More

Adam Park

Chief Revenue Officer, TargetX

Adam leads TargetX’s business development and has extensive leadership experience at both early stage and mature technology companies. Adam’s prior roles include President and COO of Beyond 12, a nonprofit that improves higher ed retention rates for underserved students; President of Embark, a then leading provider of... Learn More

Sangeeth Peruri

Co-founder & CEO, VoterCircle

Sangeeth is the CEO of VoterCircle, a contact management and organization software platform that enables effective email canvassing to allow electoral campaigns, political organizations, and community organizers to easily manage and reach their supporters. VoterCircle’s goal is to make our democracy more efficient... Learn More

Shonda Rhimes

Creator and Executive Producer of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal

Shonda is an award-winning writer, director, and producer who created the hit ABC series Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Shonda also created the Grey's Anatomy spinoff series, Private Practice, which ran on ABC for six seasons. Now in its eleventh season, Grey's Anatomy continues to be hailed by audiences and critics. Learn More

Eric Schwarz

Co-Founder and CEO, College for Social Innovation

Eric is the Co-Founder and CEO of the College for Social Innovation, a new organization that puts real-world experience and discovery of purpose at the center of a student’s college years. The ultimate goal of the College for Social innovation is to create a new paradigm for college by working with... Learn More

Natalie A. Walrond

Education Consultant (Board Treasurer)

Natalie is the founder and principal of Natalie Walrond Consulting LLC. Her advisory, communication, project management, and group facilitation skills were developed in a variety of roles: investor, management, board leadership, and outside consultant. Before becoming an education... Learn More


A growing number of individual donors, foundations, and corporations, make our work possible. We are so grateful for their partnership and support. The following are some of our major supporters. Get involved.