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Working in New York City’s public school system, Adam Aberman was struck by the scarcity of guidance counselors. Each counselor was responsible for the course selection, career exploration and postsecondary school planning for hundreds of students. How would children, especially first-generation college-bound students, get the support they needed?

Aberman founded iCouldBe to change that with an online mentoring program that’s integrated into classrooms. Students choose their mentor from a roster of volunteers, typically a professional working in a career field of interest. One class period per week, students work on e-mentoring activities related to academic success, career exploration and postsecondary educational planning. Mentors commit to one hour a week of online mentoring during the school year. Because the mentoring is done online through electronic messages and not in real time, mentors can participate any time they can log on to their computers to answer questions, share feedback on their mentees’ activities and provide encouragement.

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