iMentor Names Nina Longino Executive Director of Chicago Region


iMentor is excited to announce Nina Longino will serve as executive director of iMentor Chicago. iMentor facilitates mentoring relationships that rebalance the odds for first-generation college students. The program model bridges the human capital gaps in our nation’s public high schools and ensures more students have the personalized support and resources they need to graduate high school and succeed in college.

Longino previously served as iMentor Chicago’s managing director of program. “Since joining iMentor in the fall of 2018, Nina has led Chicago’s program team with excellence, always centering our students in our work and keeping the team focused on how our work connects to the long-term outcomes we aspire to achieve as an organization,” said Chief Regional Officer Derek Smith.

“iMentor Chicago has a tremendous opportunity to serve more students and provide even deeper support in the years after high school,” said Longino. “I have devoted my career to helping students fulfill their potential, and I am honored to lead the team at iMentor Chicago as we continue the fight for educational equity.”

Longino is iMentor’s lead advocate and partner with Chicago Public Schools and with foundations and corporations that support us. Nina has also invested deeply in growing emerging talent across the Chicago team, particularly women of color, and strengthening the skills and culture in the region. Prior to joining iMentor in 2018, Longino held leadership roles in higher education and community-based organizations, including serving executive director of Woodlawn Children’s Promise Community in Chicago and assistant dean for multicultural affairs at Fordham University in Bronx, NY

“Nina is absolutely the right leader for this time in iMentor’s history. She has the skills, the reputation, the focus, the vision, and the energy to execute our growth strategy,” said Julia Bristow Briggs, chair of iMentor Chicago’s advisory board. “Our model is a proven one, and the advisory board is excited about the additional lives that we can positively impact, both for our students and their mentors.”

iMentor Chicago has experienced rapid growth over the last seven years, expanding from 200 students in 2015 to more than 1,900 students this school year. iMentor Chicago is gearing up for expansion and has a goal of supporting a total of 3,500 students and going from supporting four to eight schools by the start of the 2024-25 school year.

“Nina is a trusted partner who has played a critical role in growing the number of students iMentor Chicago serves by over 70% and leading bold program innovations. A Better Chicago is confident in her strategic leadership and thrilled to support her as she takes the organization to the next level,” said Domonique Battle, portfolio director at A Better Chicago.

Under Longino’s leadership, iMentor Chicago is launching a $6 million Growth Fund to bring the program further into Chicago’s South and West sides. Through the Growth Fund, iMentor Chicago will serve 72 percent more students by the 2024-25 school year.

The Growth Fund is focused on iMentor Chicago’s Post-Secondary Program. Students are supported by their mentor and dedicated Program Manager for two years after high school graduation. This is an important component, as many first-generation college students need continued intensive support to navigate college.

In addition to the Growth Fund, Longino is working to expand iMentor’s Next Gen Leaders’ initiative, which was created to assist students during the current triple pandemic, in which students and their families face a global health crisis, unemployment challenges, and racial justice crises.

“The Next Gen Leaders initiative ensures our students have equitable access to the social capital, skill-building, and career readiness opportunities that will best position them to compete for high-quality jobs,” said Longino. The Next Gen Leaders initiative is generously funded in Chicago by William Blair and The NBA Foundation.

For more information on iMentor’s work in Chicago, please email Nina Longino at [email protected].


Shari Mason
[email protected]