Hugo Mentors Logo

Hugo was born in response to the need for more personalized and inspiring learning experiences, providing a new way to connect students with mentors at top universities.

As life-long learners,  parents and educators we understand the well-documented benefits of mentorships.

Carving out time to explore why feelings matter with a mentor from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence or researching the carbon-neutralizing potential of trees with an ecologist at Columbia doesn’t just enhance a resume or knowledge base; it also allows you to take ownership over learning and gives you confidence to ask and answer questions about the world in which we live.

About us

Hugo was founded with a vision for helping intellectually curious students gain access to exceptional mentors to guide them in taking their learning to the next level.

Bettina: Founder and CEO

Bettina spent her career building brands and new businesses for leading digital media companies and platforms. She worked as a strategy and marketing executive at larger companies such as Time Inc. and Yahoo! and at startups as part of the founding team at CNET and Vencast.

Bettina has also served on the advisory board of several early stage businesses; on the digital advisory board for several educational institutions including The Yale University Press and The Nightingale-Bamford School; and  volunteers with Stanford's undergraduate admissions office as an alumni interviewer.

Bettina holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Stanford as well as a certificate in Public Management from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

Christine: Academics and Curriculum Development

Christine has two decades of experience guiding students through the process of research and exploration. She has taught science at both the college and grade school level and led numerous education projects as a board member of a charter school and the founder of a nonprofit dedicated to promoting environmental and social justice.

A strong believer in the power of mentorship, Christine served as Program Director of New York University's GSTEM  program and has personally mentored dozens of undergraduates.

Christine earned dual degrees from Rice University in Biology and Fine Arts, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Nebraska.

Nadia: Program Management

Nadia is passionate about helping students combine their different talents and interests in a successful and meaningful way. She brings a unique perspective through her background as an award-winning writer and director whose short films have shown throughout festivals in Europe and her non-profit work which spans coordinating food assistance for the elderly to tutoring.

Nadia has spent the past 12 years as an alumni interviewer for Princeton's Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Nadia graduated Summa Cum Laude with an AB from Princeton University. She also received a Certificate in Digital Filmmaking from NYU’s School of Professional Studies and a Nutrition and Healthy Living Certificate from Cornell University’s eCornell program.

Damian: Program Management

Damian is a writing teacher and environmental economics specialist with administrative and project management experience in organizations ranging from small businesses to law firms. She has taught writing and research methodology at American University’s Writing Center, and conducted research on plastic pollution at an environmental research institute.

Her interest in mentorship began during college, where she experienced the power of expert mentors while participating in a mentoring program for young women in finance.

Damian holds an MA in Global Environmental Policy from American University’s School of International Service, where her research focused on climate change mitigation policies, and a BBA in Economics from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business.

Jennifer: Operations and Client Relations

Jennifer has worked with early stage businesses on establishing operations and administrative procedures. She spent  twenty years raising her children in New York City and volunteering at her children's elementary, middle, and high schools (Allen-Stevenson, Collegiate, Spence and Trinity) where she served in various capacities and as the co-chair of the Allen-Stevenson annual fund for four years.  

Jennifer devoted much time and energy to guiding her own children and other young people as they explored their passions in their high school years and transitioned to college and beyond.

Jennifer holds a BA from Barnard College and a JD from Columbia Law School.

Nikki: Content, Communications and Outreach

Nikki most recently served as the managing editor and a regular contributor for the online magazine New Thinking as well as a senior writer for a boutique PR agency. Nikki originally joined Hugo in our early days and helped launch and lead our program management.

Nikki worked for over a decade helping students identify and articulate their voice and unique story as a college essay coach and writing tutor, teaching high school students to research, organize, and execute academic papers. She has also worked as a private aide to graduate students in Communications Studies.

Nikki graduated summa  cum laude from Princeton and received her  M.F.A. through Harvard University.

Jason: Finance and Technology

Jason has 20+ years of experience helping large and small businesses run their offices and manage their finances. 

Jason is a CPA and CITP with extensive experience in establishing digital businesses and ensuring cybersecurity compliance. For the past three years he has served on the board of the Accountants Club of America and in the past has served as the Chair of the Information Technology Committee for The New York State Society of CPAs as well as holding several other board positions with industry groups.  He has written extensively on cybersecurity and other business critical topics.  

Jason graduated from NYU Stern School of Business with a BS in Accounting, Computer Applications & Information Systems.