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.

Khawla Al-Olefi

College Coach

Khawla is a first-year college coach at Beyond 12’s Oaklan

Khawla Al-Olefi

College Coach

Khawla is a first-year college coach at Beyond 12’s Oakland office. As a first-generation college student, she graduated from UC Davis, where she earned a BS in sustainable environmental design. During her four years at UC Davis, Khawla became passionate about community organizing and community empowerment and wanted to find a way to empower her community through civic engagement. Following her passion, she became a research intern for the Oakland Housing Authority and a sustainable educator for the Sustainable Office of UC Davis. In her free time, Khawla loves to garden, read and watch comedy.

Donna Arriaga Edmonds

Associate Director of Program

Donna Arriaga Edmonds was born in New York to parents who em

Donna Arriaga Edmonds

Associate Director of Program

Donna Arriaga Edmonds 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 obtained BAs in political science and writing and linguistics from Georgia Southern. She received a MA in public administration from the University of Georgia, concentrating on higher education and nonprofit management. Donna began her time with Beyond 12 as a college coach working with HSF GO Scholars and currently supports and manages the Atlanta office and partners. Donna strives to enhance the opportunities of underrepresented groups within our education system.

Alexandra Bernadotte

Founder & CEO

Alex has more than 18 years of executive management and stra

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. 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). She currently serves on the FCE advisory board, as well as the board of directors of the Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center. Alex received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and earned a master's degree with a concentration in policy and organizational leadership from Stanford. She is an Ashoka Fellow, a recipient of the 2011 NewSchools Venture Fund Entrepreneur of the year award, and a 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service. In addition, Fast Company recently named Beyond 12 “one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in education.

Jazmin Betancourt

Operations Manager

Jazmin has a wide range of experience in direct service, cur

Jazmin Betancourt

Operations Manager

Jazmin has a wide range of experience in direct service, curriculum development, program planning, and evaluation. She has served students from kindergarten to college for over 10 years and is committed to education reform that increases equity, cultural competency, and life-long learning. In her current role she draws from her previous college coaching and account management experiences to optimize Beyond 12's HR, communication, and project management processes. Her previous work includes teaching second grade Spanish and math at Roses In Concrete Community School, a dual language immersion charter in East Oakland, and consulting with Resource Development Associates where she collaborated with district leaders, teachers, parents, and students to evaluate the effectiveness of K-12 after-school programs and services in the Mt. Diablo and Antioch unified school districts. Jazmin is a first-generation college graduate, with a multiple subject teaching credential, master's degree in education, and bachelor's degrees in peace and conflict studies and art history from UC Berkeley.

Kevin Brown

Associate Director of Program

Kevin Brown is an associate director of program at Beyond 12

Kevin Brown

Associate Director of Program

Kevin Brown is an associate director of program at Beyond 12, and returns after originally serving as a college coach from 2011-2013.  Prior to re-joining the Beyond 12 team, Kevin spent the last 6 years at KIPP Through College both as an alumni advisor working with under-represented students in college and as a team manager helping to both train and support other advisors.  During his time at KIPP, Kevin was heavily focused on programming and strategic planning related to community college persistence. In addition to working in education, Kevin also comes from a background in mental health stemming from serving as a residential advisor at Seneca Center, a group home for youth who’ve experienced severe physical or emotional trauma in their childhood.  Kevin is a Bay Area native who grew up in Oakland and graduated from the University of California, Davis 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 provided counseling and mentorship to low-income, first-generation high school students in the Vallejo and Sacramento areas.

Corrina Calanoc

Senior Data Engineer

Corrina graduated from UC Berkeley, majoring in Computer Sci

Corrina Calanoc

Senior 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 role as a Data Engineer. In college, Corrina promoted equity in STEM fields by mentoring high school students served by the Pilipino recruitment/retention organization, hosting programming workshops, and serving as a teaching assistant in high school math classrooms.

Chris Co

CTO & Head of Product

Chris has over 10 years of product management, engineering,

Chris Co

CTO & Head of Product

Chris has over 10 years of product management, engineering, security, and team leadership experience from eBay and Workday, where he developed and executed product strategies, and hired and mentored dozens of college graduates through their post-college years. Chris has volunteered with College Track and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bay Area and has an unwavering passion for Beyond 12’s mission, paralleled only by his love for problem-solving and photography. Chris lives in the East Bay with his wife (an Oakland public school teacher of 10+ years) and has a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Lorena Cortez

College Coach

Lorena was born and raised in Fortuna, California. As a firs

Lorena Cortez

College Coach

Lorena was born and raised in Fortuna, California. As a first generation college student, she understands first-hand the difficulties that come with pursuing higher education, but also the immense community support needed to achieve it. Her personal experience fueled her passion towards education and she served as a literacy coach, mentor, after-school leader and math coordinator in programs throughout the Bay Area that directly serve underrepresented students over the past four years. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Latin American Studies and Political Science and a minor in Education. She hopes to continue to advocate for all students in her role as a college coach at Beyond 12.

Fiifi Deku

Senior Product Manager

Fiifi Deku is a senior product manager at Beyond 12. A self-

Fiifi Deku

Senior Product Manager

Fiifi Deku is a senior product manager at Beyond 12. A self-driven and entrepreneurial product manager, he has over 14 years of experience in web and mobile product development. His passion for life is driven by his love for family, music, soccer, food and the unstoppable desire to find solutions to existing problems whether at home, the office or anywhere in the world. A native of Ghana and a first generation college student himself, the opportunity to work at Beyond 12 places him in the unique position of being able to fully empathize and understand our students and help build products that will lead them towards a path of success. Fiifi's P1 goal at Beyond 12: to design and build products that level the playing field and positively change the life trajectory of our students for generations to come.

Heather Desvarieux

Chief Program Officer

Heather is a program management professional with 15+ years

Heather Desvarieux

Chief Program Officer

Heather is a program management professional with 15+ years of experience in project management and digital marketing. She has led large, integrated project teams of 100+ people focused on end-to-end creation of industry-leading, data-driven digital experiences for clients such as JP Morgan Chase, Prudential, TED, Amway, and Unilever. Heather was most recently a Senior Program Director at SapientRazorfish, a digital marketing and consulting firm that provides business, marketing, and technology consulting services to clients all over the world. In addition to serving as the lead for the 130+ member Mercedes-Benz USA account team, she managed 14 direct reports and provided strategic vision and career mentorship to 70+ project managers and producers.

Michelle Dew

College Coach

Michelle Dew is currently a college coach with Beyond 12 in

Michelle Dew

College Coach

Michelle Dew is currently a college coach with Beyond 12 in Oakland. Prior to her role, she attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies. While at Dartmouth, she received both a Legacy Award and the Allison Smith ‘06 Award for her work in leadership roles and creating community, specifically for LGBTQIA+ students on campus. Michelle was born and raised in Oklahoma, and has always found her passion in making others feel visible and heard.

Shallah Fairbanks

Customer Success Manager

Shallah has a wide range of experience in customer success,

Shallah Fairbanks

Customer Success Manager

Shallah has a wide range of experience in customer success, operations, compliance, and hospitality. Prior to Beyond 12, she worked at Wish, helping to align policies and improve communication with global outsource partners. Her passion for reducing inequality led her to the role at Beyond 12 and she is focused on working with partners to help close the college graduation gap between first-generation students and their peers. Shallah is a Bay Area native and received a BS in criminal justice from California State University, East Bay.

Destini Hall

College Coach

Destini is a Colorado native who serves as a college coach a

Destini Hall

College Coach

Destini is a Colorado native who serves as a college coach at Beyond 12’s Oakland office. She was the first in her family to graduate from Colorado State University with her BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and Ethnic Studies. Destini mentored first year African American female students and explored education policy through her work at the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at CSU. She then served as an Americorp member at a local high school in San Jose, CA where she provided social-emotional support to academically at-risk students. Destini’s commitment to supporting historically marginalized learners stems from her own experience as a first generation and underrepresented student, and she hopes to continue her work to make education more equitable for future generations. Destini feels most present when she is hiking, writing at coffee shops, and having meaningful conversations with those around her.

Florence Herring

College Coach

Florence was born in West Africa, Liberia and grew up with a

Florence Herring

College Coach

Florence was born in West Africa, Liberia and grew up with a passion for education. She has a BS in psychology from Kennesaw State University and a MA in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University. While completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees she was involved in many student-based and national organizations such as African American Students Association (AASA), African Student Alliance (ASA), Ladies of Distinction (LOD) where she served as vice president, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her involvement in those organizations greatly contributed to her success and introduced her to life-long mentors. Florence’s educational experience fueled her passion for helping students succeed at their highest level. She is passionate about enhancing students’ experiences in college and beyond.

Chardonnay Hightower-Collins

College Coach

Chardonnay is a college coach at Beyond 12's Oakland office.

Chardonnay Hightower-Collins

College Coach

Chardonnay is a college coach at Beyond 12's Oakland office. Originally from Oakland, Chardonnay graduated from Mills College with a BA in sociology. Prior to working with Beyond 12, she worked as the operations coordinator and interim operations manager at College Track, a national college success program aimed at helping low-income students of color persist to and through college. Her dedication to serving underrepresented youth stemmed from her experience as a College Track student and the professional skills she later gained as an employee of the organization. In her leisure time, Chardonnay enjoys traveling, painting, and thrift shopping.

Erika Holland

College Coach

Erika is a first-year college coach in the Atlanta office wh

Erika Holland

College Coach

Erika is a first-year college coach in the Atlanta office where she coaches recent graduates of Atlanta Public Schools. Before joining Beyond12, Erika served as an admissions counselor for Louisiana State University where she recruited students from public schools in the Southeast region of Louisiana. During her graduate career, Erika worked as a graduate residence director within the department of Residential Life and Housing. Erika served a residential population of over 5,000 students through accountability, programming, facilities management, and advising. Erika earned a Master of Art in higher education administration.

Damneet Kaur

College Coach

Damneet was raised on Kumeyaay Territory (San Diego, CA) by

Damneet Kaur

College Coach

Damneet was raised on Kumeyaay Territory (San Diego, CA) by way of Punjab. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Education and Race and Resistance Studies from San Francisco State University. Before joining Beyond 12, Damneet served high school students in Upward Bound Programs and [email protected] Educational Partnerships. Damneet is passionate about spoken word poetry and all things public health. She believes it is vital to come back to indigenous ways of healing, learning and teaching. From empowering each other to re-grounding ourselves, indigeneity has always offered us and continues to offer us ways to be holistic and intentional about the world we live in, especially when educating the youth. When we root ourselves in the wellness of ourselves and others, we are able to build bridges for liberation.

Bavani Kehoe

QA Engineer

Bavani is a Bay Area native who loves working at the interse

Bavani Kehoe

QA Engineer

Bavani is a Bay Area native who loves working at the intersection of education, equity, and technology. After six years as a high school math teacher and advisor in Boston, Oakland, and San Francisco, Bavani transitioned to operations and technology work within nonprofits. She was thrilled to join a team that developed the exact product she had wished for when she was a teacher! Bavani lives in the East Bay with her partner and two children. She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and an SB in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sarah Keith

College Coach

Sarah is a college coach in the Atlanta office of Beyond 12.

Sarah Keith

College Coach

Sarah is a college coach in the Atlanta office of Beyond 12. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in Arabic language from Georgia Southern University. Prior to joining Beyond 12, she worked in administration with the English Language Program, which sought to bring international students to Georgia Southern University to study.

Dan Kurtz

Senior Software Engineer

Dan has worked as a software engineer for over 10 years. Bef

Dan Kurtz

Senior Software Engineer

Dan has worked as a software engineer for over 10 years. Before his commitment to reducing inequality led him to Beyond 12, he created mobile games at Big Fish Games and community websites for nonprofits at Trellon. Dan is a San Francisco native with a BA in cognitive science from UC Berkeley and a MA in information studies from the University of Toronto.

Eril Morales

College Coach

Eril is a native of Vallejo, CA and graduated from UC Berkel

Eril Morales

College Coach

Eril is a native of Vallejo, CA and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017. During undergrad, she was involved in the Pilipinx & Mental Health community, where she served as a student mentor, writer, and leader. Outside of classes, she also volunteered her time weekly to being a crisis counselor, as she understood firsthand how emotional wellness was a major factor that affected academic achievement. With her BS in society & environment, she landed a position at a non-profit that provided free medical care and diabetes intervention services to communities in Micronesia. Eril’s collective experiences allowed her to seamlessly transition from public health to education, and now she serves as a college coach, hoping to provide a supportive space that encourages growth for her students. Her passion toward empowering communities, writing as a form of healing, and connecting with others through meaningful ways is evident in the way she approaches life each day.

Calvin Orr, II

College Coach

Flint Community Schools, industrious parents, Flint’s Fift

Calvin Orr, II

College Coach

Flint Community Schools, industrious parents, Flint’s Fifth Ward, and a fair share of luck have contributed to the professional that is Calvin Orr, II. Calvin’s parents, a hair stylist and outdoor services provider, modeled the importance of cultivating relationships, while his stepmother exemplified brilliant teaching. Calvin earned a BS in communications, interdisciplinary leadership, and nonprofit administration at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to moving to Atlanta, he managed the college coaching staff of the university’s bridge program, EMU Opportunity. He earned an MSW, community partnerships specialization, from Georgia State University and travels the country as a grassroots organizing trainer/facilitator at re:power.

Payal Patel

Senior Director of Finance and Operations

Payal has over 15 years of experience in finance, operations

Payal Patel

Senior Director of Finance and Operations

Payal has over 15 years of experience in finance, operations and human resources management in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Before joining Beyond 12, Payal was the Director of Finance & Operations for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights where she helped manage a $21M capital campaign and helped launch Restore Oakland.  Payal is passionate about helping others, especially mentoring students, and has dedicated much of her life to volunteering with youth organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs and Girls Inc. She has also been an advocate for education equity and other human rights through her previous roles. She is active in her community, previously serving as a Commissioner for the City of Richmond, CA. Payal is a Bay Area native and earned her BA in psychology from San Francisco State University.

Ian Pelton

College Coach

Ian, a Bay Area transplant originally from Brooklyn, NY, is

Ian Pelton

College Coach

Ian, a Bay Area transplant originally from Brooklyn, NY, is a college coach at Beyond 12. In college Ian was a Posse Scholar and was apart of the first “Posse" to successfully graduate with all 10 scholars from Lawrence University in Wisconsin. After college he worked as a senior college advisor with a Beyond 12 partner, College Advising Corps, where he helped over 200 students in Bronx, NY to successfully apply and enroll in college and financial aid. In his free time Ian is an avid lover and creator of music and a scholar of the Japanese language.

Khadijah Powell

Senior College Coach

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Khadijah graduated from

Khadijah Powell

Senior 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. Khadijah served as a peer mentor for the Muscats Scholars Program, where she mentored 50 first-generation college freshmen during their transition from high school to college. Khadijah’s passion for educational equity built her commitment to ensure all students possess the tools to succeed in higher education.

Tyra Preston

College Coach

Tyra, a Houston native, works as a college coach in Oakland,

Tyra Preston

College Coach

Tyra, a Houston native, works as a college coach in Oakland, CA. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2015 with a BS in Child Professional Services. Prior to becoming a college coach, Tyra worked as a senior college advisor for College Advising Corps, where she assisted over 1,200 students to successfully apply and enroll in college and financial aid. After being a mentee of the CAC program, she developed a passion to empower students to create their own pathway to success which led her to Beyond 12. She is also a performing artist who loves to create music, dance, and write during her free time.

Alejandro Ramos

College Coach

Alejandro is a college coach at Beyond 12’s Oakland office

Alejandro Ramos

College Coach

Alejandro is a college coach at Beyond 12’s Oakland office. Prior to joining Beyond 12, he worked at Youth Spirit Artworks, a nonprofit organization that provides job training and case management services to underserved and unhoused youth in the East Bay Area. In college, Alejandro was involved with college media, including newspapers and podcasts. As a first generation college student, Alejandro struggled throughout college. He has first-hand experience with a number of odd circumstances, including reverse transferring and academic disqualification. Still, he persevered and earned a BA in sociology from Long Beach State University in 2018. Now, Alejandro hopes to draw from his experiences to help current college students as they go through their own journeys.

Jianna Robinson

College Coach

Jianna is a first year college coach with Beyond 12. As a fi

Jianna Robinson

College Coach

Jianna is a first year college coach with Beyond 12. As a first generation and transfer student, Jianna completed their bachelor's of science from the University of California, Davis in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Jianna has served as a sustainability programmer for student housing, an elementary school and pre-school teacher as well as a farmer prior to working at Beyond 12. Jianna intends to continue to create access and sustain those foundations for students that have historically been barred from the pathways to successful completion within higher education. They hope to have a farm one day as a platform for education and community empowerment. Jianna uses they/them/theirs pronouns...

Arielle Sanders

Manager of Data Operations

Arielle joined Beyond 12 as a data analyst with a Master’s

Arielle Sanders

Manager of Data Operations

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 for first-generation and low-income students. From her hands-on experience with kids and extensive mathematical background, Arielle has found her calling in the world of higher education and data here at Beyond 12.

Eve Shapiro

Senior Director of Data and Research

Drawing on a decade of experience in higher education and ex

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 technology-based social and psychological support platforms, and evaluating K-12 tutoring initiatives. Eve received her B.A. from Indiana University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a focus on social inequalities, psychosocial wellbeing and social change.

Lara Sidhu

Director of Program

Lara brings both personal and professional experience to her

Lara Sidhu

Director of Program

Lara brings both personal and professional experience to her dual roles as chief of staff to the CEO and interim director of program, coaching. Since joining in 2013, her work strengthens her passion for serving youth and commitment to developing systemic interventions that generate more equitable outcomes for individuals from underserved communities. She has served as a college coach, coordinated professional development, and managed a partnership with NASFAA and The Department of Education. Before joining Beyond 12, Lara mentored Upward Bound students, facilitated Kids’ Turn workshops for families experiencing separation, supported survivors of domestic violence with the Riley Center, and promoted health and wellness at the YMCA and St. Vincent De Paul’s Ozanam Wellness Center. Lara earned a BA in psychology, graduating magna cum laude from the University of San Francisco and a MSW with a concentration in children and families with a PPSC from UC Berkeley.

Julian Straker

Associate Software Engineer

Julian is an associate software engineer, specializing in mo

Julian Straker

Associate Software Engineer

Julian is an associate software engineer, specializing in mobile application development. He graduated from Stanford University with a BS in engineering physics. After taking a course on educational technology and equity, he spent his subsequent spring break on a service trip which explored educational issues within the Bay Area. This experience led him to seek out Beyond 12 for a summer internship, which eventually led to his current role on the Products & Engineering team. He aims to use his background to find ways to contribute within the educational technology sector while continuing to grow as an advocate for underrepresented students.

Kenisha Syphertt

College Coach

Kenisha is a first-year college coach at Beyond 12’s Atlan

Kenisha Syphertt

College Coach

Kenisha is a first-year college coach at Beyond 12’s Atlanta office. She is a two-time HBCU graduate from North Carolina Central University. While completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Kenisha served in various leadership roles, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and founded a business to promote the beauty in being naturally yourself while also promoting academic and professional excellence. Kenisha is passionate about enhancing  her community, promoting culture appreciation, and changing the perspective of “life” for many. In her leisure time, she enjoys going to concerts, trying new meals, and going on hikes with friends.

Eddie Torres

College Coach

Eddie is a college coach at Beyond 12, born and raised in Br

Eddie Torres

College Coach

Eddie is a college coach at Beyond 12, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to Beyond 12, Eddie worked toward exonerating inmates from wrongful convictions in California. In NYC, Eddie participated in the NYC Urban Fellows, strategically combining hip-hop and philosophy into a class for incarcerated youth. As a student at Ursinus College, Eddie experienced culture shock, sparking his interest in society and its absurdity, ultimately achieving a BA in Sociology. In light of these experiences, Eddie has devoted himself to ameliorating the plight of college students and is deeply passionate about his hometown, hip-hop, empathy, and understanding.

Amber White

Associate Director of Program

Amber White is an associate director of program at Beyond 12

Amber White

Associate Director of Program

Amber White is an associate director of program at Beyond 12. Prior to this role, Amber served as the behavior support specialist and multi-tier systems of support coordinator at Education for Change Public Schools where she managed a team of behavioral and academic paraprofessionals providing 1:1 services to high needs students.  Before joining EFC, Amber was a mental health counselor with Seneca Family of Agencies where she provided direct behavioral and social emotional support in counseling enriched and non-public school settings. Amber is passionate about behavioral health and helping teams to understand their role and how they can use their passions to drive results while also building their profile as a professional. In 2016, Amber published an article as a part of her capstone project titled “Tuning “The System”: An Evaluation of Restorative Practices in San Lorenzo School District” where she focused on improving the educators ability to implement and sustain restorative practices within their classroom in hopes to decrease suspension rates amongst high school students, disrupting the school to prison pipeline. Amber completed a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Utah State in 2011 and went on to complete a master’s degree in behavioral health from the University of San Francisco in 2016.

Katherine Zepeda

Director of Customer Success

Katherine is director of customer success at Beyond 12. In h

Katherine Zepeda

Director of Customer Success

Katherine is director of customer success at Beyond 12. In her role she provides integral support to coaching partners by communicating students’ educational outcomes and sharing coaching best practices that work toward attaining college persistence and graduation. As a recipient of multiple college access, success, and scholarship support services, Katherine has dedicated her career to ensuring that college is not only accessible to first-generation, underrepresented minorities but that it promotes persistence, graduation, and a pathway to a career. Before joining Beyond 12 in 2013, Katherine worked and interned at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, College Track, and Glide Memorial Foundation and was involved in research and leadership groups aimed at promoting higher education for first-generation students. Katherine graduated from UC Berkeley in 2013 with a BA in social welfare.

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 develop

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 creating and managing strategic partnerships. Ethan joined Facebook from Google, where he served as Director of Social Media and Director of New Business Development. Prior to Google, he spent several years as Director of Business Development for MTV Online. Earlier in his career, Ethan co-founded BigSoccer, an online community and store for soccer fans, and spent time structuring derivatives at Bank of America. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and an MBA from NYU Stern. Originally from New England, Ethan now lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

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

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. 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). She currently serves on the FCE advisory board, as well as the board of directors of the Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center. Alex received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and earned a master's degree with a concentration in policy and organizational leadership from Stanford. She is an Ashoka Fellow, a recipient of the 2011 NewSchools Venture Fund Entrepreneur of the year award, and a 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service. In addition, Fast Company recently named Beyond 12 “one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in education. “

Renuka Kher

COO, Tipping Point Community (Board Chair)

Renuka has over 14 years of experience in philanthropy and, through various roles, has helped direct over $100 million toward pove

Renuka Kher

COO, Tipping Point Community (Board Chair)

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 and implementing a strategy for a $65 million relief fund, one of the nation's largest, created to respond to the attacks of September 11th. She received her bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Michigan, and completed her graduate work at Emory University, where she received a master's in public health from the Rollins School of Public Health. She also holds a certificate in Innovation Leadership from California College of the Arts. When not thinking about ideas that can change the world, Renuka can be found daydreaming of returning to the Himalayas through Tibet

Deborah McGriff

Managing Director, NewSchools Venture Fund

Deborah has been committed to transforming the lives of underserved urban school students for more than four decades. In 1993, Deb

Deborah McGriff

Managing Director, NewSchools Venture Fund

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 Teachers College, Executive Vice President of Charter Schools, and Executive Vice President of several external relations functions. Prior to joining Edison Learning, Deborah served as the first female General Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools. Crain’s Detroit Business named her Newsmaker of the Year for 1992. Before that, she was the first female Assistant Superintendent in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the first female Deputy Superintendent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was a teacher and administrator in the New York City Public Schools for more than a decade. Deborah is the former President of the Education Industry Association. In addition to serving on the boards of several high-performing charter management organizations, she is the Chair of the board of Beyond 12. She serves on the executive committee of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Policy Innovators in Education Network, and is a founder and national board member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. She also serves on the advisory board of the Games and Learning Publishing Council, Hechinger Report, Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and is a member of the Review Board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education. Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Norfolk State University, a master’s degree in education with a specialization in reading pedagogy from Queens College of the City University of New York, and a doctorate in Administration, Policy and Urban Education from Fordham University.

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 di

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 a strong background in creating quality educational opportunities for students, Scott began his career teaching social studies and leadership at St. Jude High School in Montgomery, Alabama, through the University of Notre Dame's ACE Program. Scott later served as the legal counsel for Aspire Public Schools, where he worked with the management team and school leaders to build a network of high-performing public charter schools throughout California. At Education Pioneers, Scott feels incredibly fortunate to collaborate with exceptional individuals and high-performing organizations that share his deep commitment to developing diverse, talented leaders to transform urban education. Scott graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in government from the University of Notre Dame, received his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland, and earned his law degree from Stanford Law School. Scott is a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, a board member of Beyond 12, Inc., and a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, Class of 2010. An avid San Francisco Giants fan, Scott lives in Alameda, CA, with his wife and two daughters.

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 als

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. For her work on the series, Shonda received the 2007 Television Producer of the Year award from the Producers Guild of America, the 2007 Golden Globe for Outstanding Television Drama, the 2007 Lucy Award for Excellence in Television from Women in Film, consecutive wins from 2007-2011 for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series as well as five wins for Outstanding Drama Series, the 2006 Writers Guild Award for Best New Series, in addition to Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and Writing for a Drama Series. For Scandal, Shonda was the 2013 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series as well as nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Shonda was the recipient of the 2012 GLAAD Golden Gate Award, 2010 RAINN Hope Award and a 2009 GLSEN Respect Awards Honoree. Shonda has twice been included in TIME Magazine's 100 list of the most influential people. Shonda holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College in English Literature with Creative Writing and an M.F.A. from the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she was awarded the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship. The child of educators, Rhimes blames her parents for her rampant addiction to books. The youngest of six, she was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL, and now resides in Los Angeles with her three daughters.

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

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 consultant, she was Associate Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund where she managed and co-led the firm’s Academic Systems Initiative. Prior to her time at NewSchools, Natalie served as Chief Financial Officer at Creative Commons Corporation, where she was responsible for every aspect of its financial management. Natalie began her career in the investment industry. She worked for four years on the investment team at Northwestern Mutual Life where she was responsible for all investments in publicly-traded emerging markets equities. She also worked for five years in investment banking as an equity research analyst covering business and education services. Natalie earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and international business from Trinity University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in analytic finance and policy studies.  She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1999. In addition to serving on the Beyond 12 board, Natalie serves on the boards of Envision Education and Live Oak School.

Barbara H. Whye

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources, Intel (Board Vice Chair)

Barbara H. Whye is Intel’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources for the Technology, Systems Architect

Barbara H. Whye

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources, Intel (Board Vice Chair)

Barbara H. Whye is Intel’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources for the Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG), the company’s largest business group. This group is responsible for aligning technology, engineering, product design and business direction to extend Intel’s strategy and speed execution across the client device and IoT segments — all core to growth in the smart and connected compute era. She also leads Intel’s Diversity in Technology initiative as the company endeavors to reach its goal of full representation in its U.S. workforce by the end of 2018.
A champion of Intel’s culture of inclusion, with 21 years of experience, she develops strategies that accelerate progress and integrate diversity and inclusion across the ecosystem to enhance innovation and drive business results. Barbara joined Intel in 1995 as an engineer and held a number of leadership roles driving large scale and enterprise wide change. Prior to joining HR and Global Diversity and Inclusion in 2015, she spent 15 years in key leadership and project engineering roles responsible for acquiring and starting up new facilities for Intel Corporation worldwide, including Talent Management as an expatriate in San José, Costa Rica.
Barbara also led the investment strategy for Intel’s global (STEM) education portfolio, with an emphasis on girls and underserved populations, and was a strategist on Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls' education and empowerment. Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina and her MBA from the University’s Darla Moore School of Business.
Recognized as a force for positive social change, she has been awarded with the 2014 National Society of Black Engineers Career Excellence Award, a 2015 Society of Women

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