Alumni in Action
“It's an honor and a privilege to do this work, and more than I hoped it could be. I am extremely grateful to Education Pioneers for supporting me from the beginning.”
Alexandra Bernadotte - 2007 Bay Area
Spotlight on Alexandra Bernadotte
Founder & CEO, Beyond 12
Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow, Bay Area
Fellowship Placement: NewSchools Venture Fund
Education: MEd, Stanford University, School of Education
College success for all: Alumna Alexandra Bernadotte launches Beyond 12 to bridge K-12 and college divide
Alexandra Bernadotte knew what she wanted to do: start a company that would dramatically increase the number of low-income, first-generation and historically underrepresented students who graduate from college.
Alex was one of the students she seeks to serve, a first-generation college student who grew up in inner-city Boston. It was her own struggle as an undergraduate at Dartmouth that drove her to ensure other students didn't experience the difficult transition and the lack of a formal support system that she did.
After working in the private sector and for an education nonprofit that focused on college access and success, Alex returned to graduate school to gain additional education knowledge and glean business insight.
A clear vision of her career path led Alex to pursue an Education Pioneers Fellowship.
'I weighed the Fellowship opportunity against other full-time job offers,' she explained. 'Even though it was just for the summer, it was a no-brainer. An Education Pioneers Fellowship, both the experience and the connections, would be invaluable as I launched my business.'
For someone who thought she had it all figured out, Alex's Fellowship experience surprised her.
'I underestimated the Fellowship's significant value,' she said. 'Because I had an education background, I was cocky and didn't think there was much more for me to learn. The humbling part was how much I didn't know, and how much I learned from my cohort. There are so many ways to improve outcomes for kids, and we were all trying to find solutions.'
As Founder and CEO of Beyond 12, a nonprofit that bridges K-12 and higher education by helping high schools and colleges provide students with the support they need to succeed in college, Alex has realized her vision.
'It's an honor and a privilege to do this work,' she said, 'and more than I hoped it could be. To have gone from the idea to running my own nonprofit has been challenging but incredible. I am extremely grateful to Education Pioneers for supporting me from the beginning when Beyond 12 was just a dream.'