The Leading Expert In
Relationship-Based Learning and Wellbeing
for International Schools

Our Mission

SCM designs and manages mentoring programs for young people growing up in international communities who are impacted by mobility. Using the powerful combination of one to one mentoring and our web based curriculum, we remove our protégés road blocks and tap into their full potential as global citizens.

What We Believe


Teaching young people how to have healthy and successful relationships with adults and peers, and giving them the opportunity to do so in a safe and supportive environment, not only improves their immediate learning and well-being, but also helps them lead a life of satisfaction.

Empathy in the Modern World

As the world is increasingly interconnected, as technology continues to grow at such a rapid pace and as we enter the era of artificial intelligence, a person’s ability to empathize and connect with others and to create value for others is more important than ever.

A Culture of Mentoring

In order to achieve this, schools must adopt a culture of mentoring. To do this, administrators need to focus on effective developmental relationships between not only staff and students, but also between students and their peers, in all aspects of the school experience, including: hiring practices, staff and student training, budgeting and scheduling.

Personalized Learning

We believe in the value of effectively executed personalized learning in schools. We believe that, as information becomes more readily available, the role of teachers must shift away from subject matter experts. We believe that the role of teachers in the 21st century is that of facilitation and modeling, with an emphasis on getting to know students and scaffolding their learning experience.

Compassionate, Ethical Global Community

When young people have meaningful connections with adults who model compassionate and ethical global citizenship, they are more likely to become compassionate and ethical global citizens themselves.

The Impact of Mobility

We believe that special attention must be made for young people impacted by mobility and/or adverse experiences, as so many of their relationships are disrupted throughout their development.

Cultural Understanding and Respect

We believe that special attention must be made to cultural differences and for those students who must navigate more than one culture on a daily basis and throughout their youth.

“I know firsthand that you need people who can mentor you, who can see things in you that you don’t often see yourself.”

-– Sir Ken Robinson

Meaningful Impact

of our clients would recommend our professional development on mentoring in schools
International School alumni that did not have mentors reported having DIFFICULTY RELATING TO PEERS after graduating from high school, according to an SCM survey in 2012
Sea Change Mentoring Protégés would recommend the program to others

“Sea Change Mentoring offers a unique approach to helping third culture kids (TCKs) thrive as they grow up among many different cultural worlds…Sea Change Mentoring is helping globally mobile youth learn good strategies for living with strength and success despite the many changes whirling about in our ever-changing world. It is truly a ground-breaking concept and one whose time has come.”

-– Ruth E. Van Reken, co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing up Among Worlds

Advisory Services

Sea Change Mentoring offers our clients a suite of services designed to meet the needs of international schools and organizations who serve international and multicultural school-aged children, university students, and recent graduates. Whether our clients are running mentoring programs, improving advisory programs, or are just getting started in building relationship-based learning into their students’ capstone or IB CAS projects, this suite of services provides them with the opportunity to evaluate their practice and strengthen their work.

The key areas where mentoring and developmental
relationships are effective in schools are:

Personalized Learning

Mentoring should play a key role in project-based learning, capstones, CAS, etc.

Alumni Engagement

Alumni-student or Alumni-alumni mentoring, often with a career-development perspective.


Advisory or supplemental programming designed to support the social-emotional health of students.

Transitions Support

Through peer and near-peer mentoring, support for newcomers, stayers and leavers in schools impacted by mobility.

How We Work

Clients can choose from a range of services. Below is the typical process of working with Sea Change Mentoring but we tailor the process and options according to each client’s needs.

Our Process

The IMF’s Family Association, in collaboration with World Bank hired Sea Change Mentoring to conduct a series of educational seminars designed to teach the teenage children of employees the importance of mentors in one’s life, how to find mentors and why this is important for internationally mobile people like themselves.

Who we are

The SCM team not only brings expertise and passion to our work, but we also bring sincere empathy for students and teachers. Each of us comes to this work as international school alumni and experienced educators first and foremost.

Beatriz Lucas

Curriculum Coordinator

Beatriz Lucas was born in Mexico to Spanish and French parents, but grew up in the UK and Canada. In addition to helping Sea Change Mentoring develop curriculum content, she is an engagement manager at 2Degrees, where she translates technical stories and facts into content accessible to the general public for community and business driven sustainability. Prior to this role, she worked as a biologist in Mexico helping resource-dependent communities maintain their lifestyle while ensuring the conservation needs of an ecosystem.

Beatriz was one of Sea Change Mentoring’s first mentors. She was matched with a 17 year old American attending a British International School in Europe. For three years they worked on planning for a career in environmental science, how to make meaning from international volunteering experiences, friendships and goodbyes, the college essay, and exploring international identities. She is a big music fan, loves sports, meeting and learning from people, and listening to NPR podcasts and currently resides in the UK.

Lydia Foxall

Special Projects Intern

Lydia Foxall is an American citizen, raised in Chile, Ecuador, and India. She attended the International School Nido de Aguilas in Santiago, Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, and the American Embassy school in New Delhi. When she was in middle school, Lydia repatriated to New Hampshire, U.S. with her family and attended a rural public school. As a young adult, Lydia lived in Cadiz, Spain to study Spanish and immerse herself in the Andalusian culture. She completed her bachelors degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire in the spring of 2017.

While she was at University, Lydia worked as part of the Steering Committee for Safe Passage Across Networks, SPAN. In addition to her work with SPAN, Lydia also interned at the American International School of Vienna in Austria. She worked closely with the middle school guidance counselor assisting with students social, emotional, and academic needs. Her focus was on students in transition. After returning from Austria, Lydia interned with a school social worker at the Concord High School in New Hampshire working primarily with refugee students. Lydia believes strongly in Sea Change Mentoring, and is passionate about empowering TCKs worldwide.

Josh Stager

Senior Program &
Curriculum Advisor

Most recently, Josh served as the Senior Manager of Professional Development, Technology for all of New York City public schools. In his role, he trained principals and school administrators in how to use student data and technology systems to improve instruction and measure progress. Josh is also an adjunct professor within New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he teaches critical thinking and writing to college freshmen. Josh has high school teaching experience as an English teacher through the New York City Teaching Fellows, worked to implement No Child Left Behind, and helped lead the educational nonprofit Computers for Youth. Josh’s parents were officers in the US Navy, so as a child lived on both US coasts, Guam, and Thailand. He holds two Masters degrees in Education, and a PhD in Educational Leadership from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Ellen Mahoney

CEO & Founder

Ellen is the founder of Sea Change Mentoring and an alumna of Singapore American School and the International School of Sacred Heart in Tokyo. Prior to launching Sea Change Mentoring, she developed the mentor management and quality programming policies and procedures for iMentor, a leading youth mentoring program recognized by President Obama for its excellence and innovation. During her time at iMentor, she Increased the quality and quantity of support provided to 4800 participants and 16 school administrations by building and administering assessments, developing evidence-based strategies and creating internal efficiencies. In 2008, she was awarded a City Council Citation for her work during her time at iMentor. She is certified in mentoring program supervision by Fordham University’s School of Social Work and Big Brothers Big Sisters and she studied School Counseling at George Washington University’s Graduate School for Human Development. She is a co-founding board member of Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN), which facilitates the establishment of programs that address the challenges of mobility across networks of schools. Ellen resides in San Francisco, California

“Thank you so very much for the Sea Change Mentoring training. We have returned full of inspiration. Thank you for your extra support in helping us create a Theory of Change – a strategy we are enjoying implementing – as well as guiding us towards specific texts to read regarding transitions and third culture kids. The content of this training was highly valuable.”

-– Green School of Bali Staff

Speaking & Events

We conduct engaging, interactive trainings, lectures and workshops for school staff, employers, parents, high school and university students. 

  • Mentoring Best Practices
  • Youth Initiated Mentoring
  • The Role of Relationships in Personalized Learning
  • Supporting Young People, Staff and Parents Through Transitions and Mobility
  • Mentoring and Well-Being in Schools
  • Developmental Relationships in Schools
  • How to Help Third Culture Kids Thrive
  • The Third Culture Kids’ Transition to Tertiary Education

Examples of previous clients include — Shell Global Outpost; World Bank Family Network; The Carnegie Corporation; The American School of the Hague; American Community School, Cobham; University of California, Berkeley; Clark University; Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO).

The Expat LifeLine’s Moving With Kids Summit

A lecture for the World Bank Family Network in 2015

“TCKs Who Tweet: How Third Culture Kids around the world built a more diverse and inclusive TCK community online” Lecture for 2016 Families in Global Transition Conference.”

June 28-29, 2017
Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and International School Counselors Association (ISCA) Counseling Institute
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
This active and invigorating 2 day institute provides attendees with a wealth of opportunities to learn, share and connect around timely counseling topics while recharging internal batteries for the coming year and making connections with colleagues and student & family counseling experts from around the world.
Sessions featuring Ellen Mahoney, Sea Change Mentoring
Developmental Relationships in Mobile International Communities
Supporting Transition with Effective Mentoring Models
Expert Panel On Successful Transition Support In International Schools Moderated by Cheryl Brown
April 2017
The Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS) Leadership Conference
Barcelona, Spain
‘Connected Community: How might we broaden the role that relationships play in international schools to expand learning outcomes and promote well-being?’
What does research tell us about the role of staff and student relationships in educational settings? What does this mean for the ever-changing, ever-mobile international school community? Join us as we review this research, learn how international schools around the world foster healthy relationships, and discuss the implications for Admissions.

March 2017
Families in Global Transition
The Hague, Netherlands
“Empty Nest and Parenting Adult Kids Panel: Tough Love, Tough Choices: How to Cope with an Empty Nest”
Led by Jo Parfitt
When our expat kids leave home many leave the country too. Instead of things getting easier many unforeseen issues arise. So, what happens to your identity now? How do you care for your parents, ATCKs and your partner while still making time for yourself? What should you do when your kids drop out, get depressed or get lonely? You’re getting older too, so how do you stay positive when problems rear their heads and you feel compelled to jump on a plane to sort things out?
Come listen to the wisdom of our specialist panel of mentors, educators, psychologists and parents who feel that the paragraph above describes their life. Ask your questions and help us to start an open discussion about what matters most.
Panel members: Ruth van Reken, Ellen Mahoney, Becky Grappo, Katherine Fortier, Terry Anne Wilson and Jo Parfitt

March, 2017
Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN) Inaugural Conference
The Hague, Netherlands
Only a handful of international schools have well-developed transitions programs. Even when these programs exist, they tend to operate in isolation. Part of the reason why is because no forum ever existed to support program development and collaboration. The SPAN preconference seeks to address this gap, by creating a forum for professionals, parents, and even students who are leading the development of transitions services at their schools. The SPAN Preconference seeks to create a “home” for collaboration, such that best practices can be identified, supported, and connected amongst international schools.

February, 2017
Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE)
Leadership Conference
San Francisco, CA, USA
“Connected Community: The role that relationships play in international schools on learning outcomes and well-being.”
From the Search Institute’s work in Developmental Relationships to Big Brothers Big Sisters century-long work in youth mentoring, research has shown us time and again that youth fare better when they have a close connection to a non-parental adult. Join us as we review what the research says about the impact of these relationships on learning, school-connectedness, bullying behaviors, depression, and future career satisfaction. We will explore how this research can inform our work in International Schools and will learn impactful approaches to connecting research to practice.

November, 2016
South East Asia Counsellors Network (SEACN) KEYNOTE
Phuket, Thailand
“Connected Community: The role that relationships play in international schools on learning outcomes and well-being.”
From the Search Institute’s work in Developmental Relationships to Big Brothers Big Sisters century-long work in youth mentoring, research has shown us time and again that youth fare better when they have a close connection to a non-parental adult. Join us as we review what the research says about the impact of these relationships on learning, school-connectedness, bullying behaviors, depression, and future career satisfaction. We will explore how this research can inform our work in International Schools and will learn impactful approaches to connecting research to practice.

March, 2016
Families in Global Transition Conference
The Hague, Netherlands
“TCKs Who Tweet: How Third Culture Kids around the world built a more diverse and inclusive TCK community online”
Co-presenter: Amanda Bate
Description: In June 2014, when Amanda Bate and Ellen Mahoney came up with the idea of a bi-weekly chat for Third Culture Kids (TCKs) on Twitter, the most important goal was to create a more inclusive TCK community. They wanted to engage TCKs who might get overlooked, who didn’t fit the classic definition to a “T,” who never felt welcome in the TCK or Expat community in the first place. Almost two years later, they have built a thriving community of TCKs all around the world. In the words of one TCKchatter: “I am in love [with TCKchat] as I discover an even more diverse TCK community than I grew up knowing.” Join Amanda and Ellen to discover how they built this community, lessons learned along the way, what TCKchatters have to say about this experience and what can the larger FIGT community takeaway from this experiment to inform their own lives and work.

December, 2015
Peraj International Mentoring Conference
Cancun, Mexico
“How Mentors Can Help Youth of Multicultural Backgrounds”
Description: Through a combination of research reviews, discussion and stories pulled directly from an innovative mentoring program for Third Culture Kids (people who spent a significant amount of their developmental years outside of their parents’ countries), we will explore how matching mentors with international/expat/global nomad emerging adults can help them identify and apply the skills they are picking up from the multicultural backgrounds while avoiding some of the specific challenges that come with this lifestyle. Attendees will have the opportunity to: Review what the literatures says are the assets and challenges of Third Culture Kids; Learn what the latest research says about the effectiveness of youth mentoring programs and how mentoring can help children in transition, prevent depression and strengthen social-emotional skills.

April, 2015
Eagle Academy School Leaders Training
San Francisco, CA, USA
“Positive Youth Development for Adolescents: What it is, why it matters and how to make it work”
Description: This training explores the theory of Positive Youth Development (PYD) and its significance and application in social justice and education. In particular we will explore why a PYD perspective is effective when working with adolescents. We will also touch on the social/historical context of PYD and of the Youth Deficit perspective. The training will be a mix of lecture, media, interactive activities, and facilitated dialogue. While the training is based on research, the approach will be practical. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the ir own professional practice and take away strategies for practical applications.

March, 2015
Families in Global Transition Conference
Washington, DC, USA
“A Safe Passage towards a Sea Change: A review of effective support for TCKs from childhood through the transition to adulthood.”
Co-presenters: Dr. Doug Ota and Dr. Jennie Molz
Description: This panel will cover evidence-based strategies for supporting TCKs in a world that is ever-changing. It will discuss current techniques and programs that serve to nurture and empower TCKs to reap the benefits of the international, cross-cultural life while building the skills needed to face these challenges. The TCK experience has changed, with our social networks, cultural norms and information moving across the oceans faster than we can. What are innovative approaches to supporting youth living in this new TCK world? This session features two respected experts in the field working with children, teenagers and college students.

July, 2015
The Change School’s TCK Summit
”Third Culture Kids and The Future of Work”
Description: A discussion on questions like, “ Do young adult TCKs face unique difficulties in finding work or identifying the right career path? What career opportunities are TCKs best suited for? What are some common TCK characteristics or traits that make them a critical piece to the future of work? How are TCKs offering these qualities to the organisations that need and seek them most?”

November, 2014
ECIS Annual Conference
Nice, France
“Global Guides: How mentors can help international students make the most of their international backgrounds”
Description: Through a combination of research reviews, discussions and stories pulled directly from an innovative mentoring program for Third Culture Kids, we will explore how matching mentors with international students can help them identify and apply the skills they are picking up from their multicultural backgrounds while avoiding some of the specific challenges that come with this lifestyle.

April, 2014
Friends For Youth Mentoring Conference
Petaluma, CA, USA
“Using Digital Media to Build Community, Create Space to Reflect, and Evaluate Your Program”
Description: Participants will learn how to use digital media such Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr to enhance a sense of community for their mentoring community, collect data in order to understand the health of the program and develop creative opportunities for mentees and mentors to deepen and reflect their experiences together. We will share specific applications of digital media, how to adapt these to the specific needs of mentoring programs and the legal and ethical parameters within which to work.

March, 2014
Families in Global Transition Conference
Washington, DC, USA
“Professionalizing Global Support”
Description: Using the launch of Sea Change Mentoring as a case study for putting research into practice in professionalizing the cross-cultural field as a whole.

February, 2014
Clark University’s TCK Conference
Keynote – “Cultural Bridges, Innovators, and Diversity Promoters: How to Put Your International Background to Good Use”

April, 2013
Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) Annual Conference Bern, Switzerland
“Families in Transition: Abroad and Home Again”
Description: A lecture on how women and children experience reverse culture shock and an exploration of coping strategies to minimize its impact.


Our Clients

Sea Change Mentoring is honored to have built relationships with
highly-respected schools and organizations around the world.

  • Alliant International University
  • American Community School in Hillingdon
  • American Community School in Cobham
  • American School of the Hague
  • Global Online Academy
  • International Diagnostics Solutions
  • The International Monetary Fund Family Association
  • International School of Amsterdam
  • Pearson
  • Read Alliance
  • Shell Global Outpost
  • Singapore American School
  • The World Bank Family Network
  • The Carnegie Foundation

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