Ascend motivates students to achieve academic and behavioral goals
Our Vision and Mission
Our vision is to create a generation of students that are empowered to pursue their goals with curiosity, courage, and commitment.
We do this by engaging students in a purposeful journey toward a successful future through gamified goals that align with their plans for the future, in collaboration with their parents, mentors and educators.
What Our Students, Parents and Educators Say
Ascend inspired me to set goals on things I thought were impossible for me. I raised my GPA 0.6 points- from a 3.4 to a 4.0.
Ascend was easy to use. My son was motivated to do well. I was worried about his grades and his future, and now I know he’s going to college.
The student engagement and outcomes have been impressive to witness. We’ve seen students raise Cs and Ds to As and Bs in a single semester.
Reg Gabriel, CEO, is a lifelong technologist with a full career at IBM, where he specialized in data security. He founded Ascend (formerly SkoolAide) after his experience with finding a way to motivate his intelligent but unmotivated son. He has been working with students and administrators to create Ascend since 2012.
“After struggling with my son’s lack of motivation for academic work, and having no success with behavioral deterrents, I worked with my son to create an incentive program for completed homework and grade improvements. After a few semesters motivated by external factors, he began to shift toward intrinsic motivation to do well. He eventually graduated from college summa cum laude and now works in finance.”
Christine Nicodemus, COO, served as a product manager for two of Charlotte’s leading tech startups before joining Asend. She managed a platform used by several Fortune 100 companies, a popular travel and rewards app, and over 50 parking apps used by over 2MM users in major cities like Chicago and London. Christine finished at the top of her business school at Wake Forest while studying mathematical business.
Christine devotes her free time to equity initiatives in her home city of Charlotte. “My husband and I started an annual conference called the Charlotte Justice Conference that brings in national and local experts who speak on the top social justice issues facing our city and actionable steps to positively impact them. We cover topics like affordable housing, educational equity, mass incarceration, and food justice, along with many others.”
Ted Piecora, CTO, led a top performing team as a Director of Engineering at one of the largest technology companies in the Charlotte region before joining Ascend. He is considered a thought leader and driver of organizational culture, and is known for full stack engineering and cloud architecture.
“Beyond the technology and software industry, I’ve had a pretty broad range of experience, from working on construction sites to project management, sales, and teaching in Cambodia. This has equipped me in unique ways to bring a fresh perspective to problem solving and product development.”
Director of School and Student Success
Missi Rossi, Director of School and Student Success, has a decade of experience in B2B and B2C integrated marketing-communications and client management. While obtaining her Master’s degree in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota, she focused on student usage of technology to invoke behavior change.
Outside of Asend, Missi is a certified yoga teacher. “I spend a lot of my free time learning about personal and professional development and I’m excited to be in a role where I can align my academic and personal interests with creating a solution that sparks motivation and purpose in teens.”
Are you ready to learn more about how Ascend can help your students achieve their goals?