(Not Really) Saying Goodbye to iMentor President Caroline Kim Oh
Today marks the end of an era for iMentor—our president, Caroline Kim Oh, is concluding her 12-and-half-year tenure with us. “I’m so grateful to have been part of the evolution of iMentor over the past 12 years from four people in a tiny, borrowed office to a national organization,” said Caroline. “I’m proud of what iMentor has already achieved, and the organization is poised to realize even greater success for its students, volunteers, and partners in the future.”
Caroline joined iMentor in 2000 as its first Program Director, mere months after John Griffin, Rich Buery, and Matt Klein founded the organization. With no permanent office and just a handful of mentors and mentees, iMentor consisted of a small, committed team that shared an ambitious vision for how mentoring could help young people on their path to success. In 2002, Caroline became iMentor’s Executive Director and successfully expanded the organization by hiring top talent, securing major funders, and launching iMentor Interactive, a national partnership program. In these roles, Caroline helped transform what started as a small pilot project into a successful youth mentoring program that served more than 1,000 mentor-mentee pairs annually.
Assuming the role of President in 2007, Caroline began focusing on board and leadership group development as well as special strategic projects. Recently, she spearheaded iMentor’s annual benefit and launched a successful Women’s Committee. As Caroline moves on to pursue new challenges in the nonprofit sector, she can take pride in the fact that she played a pivotal role in helping iMentor realize—and exceed—its early ambitions. Today, iMentor boasts a staff of more than 80 people serving 2,400 mentor-mentee pairs in New York City, and 15 nonprofit partners across the country.
Caroline has been more than an employee at iMentor—she is an embodiment of the spirit of the organization itself. Staff, mentors, board members, and mentees consider her their own mentor, friend, and fairy godmother. In recognition of her leadership, iMentor Board Chair John Griffin recently created the Caroline Kim Oh Mentoring Award. This award, which includes a $2,000 stipend toward a student’s education, will be given each year to one graduating mentor-mentee pair who has demonstrated a commitment to developing a strong mentoring relationship, overcoming obstacles, and working together to ensure the mentee is poised to succeed in college.
Confident that iMentor will always be a part of her life, Caroline will continue to lead iMentor’s Women’s Committee and volunteer as a mentor. “Anyone who knows me understands that I’ll never really ‘leave’ iMentor,” said Caroline. “I’m happy I can stay involved with our students, mentors, supporters, and staff in the coming years.”
At iMentor, we will miss Caroline’s daily presence but will benefit from her lasting legacy and continued contributions to the iMentor community. The entire iMentor staff joins our CEO, Mike O’Brien, and our board in wishing Caroline well in her next adventure.