Kim Caraganis, Executive Director
"At CCT we believe that every child and young person is "of promise". As adults it is up to us to make sure that our youth feel valued and have the support and opportunities they need to succeed." ~ Kim
2014 marks Kim Caraganis’s twenty-fourth year with Chatham County Together!, and her 17th year as executive director. Her responsibilities include fundraising, grant writing and budget management; oversight and involvement in all program components; supervision of the agency’s staff; and management of local, state, federal and foundation grant reporting and the agency's transition to become a Communities in Schools affiliate. In addition, Kim serves as a liaison to volunteers, families, grantors, community and state agencies and the board of directors. She enjoys being with family and friends,cooking, gardening, playing music and teaching yoga in her spare time.
Pam Johnson, Operations Manager
A 30-year resident of Chatham County, Pam Johnson has devoted the past decade to her work at CCT! As operations manager, she is responsible for financial tracking of all funding sources, serves as personnel/human relations liaison, manages physical operations and fulfills a major role in fundraising.
Originally a volunteer mentor, Pam shares from firsthand experience that “CCT! brings adults--who are willing to show up, be accountable and pass on this example—in contact with kids of promise. I believe that we are here because there were adults along the way who believed in us.”
Shirille Lee, Director of Mentoring Services
Shirille Lee first became involved with CCT! as a volunteer mentor, going on to serve on the Board of Directors before coming on board full-time as a staff member some 12 years ago. In that time she has served in a variety of positions, from Governor’s One-on-One Coordinator to Volunteer and Youth Services Coordinator, bringing her infectious enthusiasm to every task.
In her current mission as Mentoring Director, she is guided each day by a favorite quote from an unknown source: “To the world, you are one person—but to one person, you could be the world.” Shirille is the proud mother of two lovely, lively foster-to-adopted daughters.
Gwen Overturf, Coordinator, Juvenile Community Service and Restitution and Teen Court Program
For 30 years, Gwen has been working and playing with “young’uns.” Her first experience as a kindergarten assistant teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory School where she earned her Masters in Education started the ball rolling.
After 10 years of teaching at an alternative school in North Chatham, Gwen grabbed the opportunity to work at CCT! as a teacher in Chatham New School. After that, she co-coordinated the Graduation Project program as she matched high school seniors with mentors to guide them towards completion of the Graduation project. The sheer determination and dedication of Chatham mentors towards their students served as a beacon to her throughout this project.
Now Gwen embarks on a new adventure. She’ll be finding work service opportunities for youth who have committed a crime and coordinating Teen Court. Gwen is looking forward to continue weaving the Chatham adult community with Chatham youth into relationships that promote discovery and success. Gwen feels this is a wonderful way to continue her connection with youth and their families.
Maria Soto, Family Advocate, Outreach, Hablando Claro
It has long been said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Twenty years ago, it was necessary for Maria Soto to become a very inventive mother indeed in order to successfully advocate for her own child’s individual needs within the school system. It wasn’t long before friends and neighbors began to come to Maria seeking her help for their children…and she found herself set upon a lifetime path of family advocacy.
Having joined CCT! nearly ten years ago, Maria continues to serve Chatham’s Latino community in her current role as coordinator of Hablando Claro/Plain Talk and family advocate, combining her passion for its mission with generous helpings of patience and persistence.
Travis Patterson, Case Manager, Workforce Investment Act Youth Services and Mentoring Program Assistant
Travis first joined CCT! in 2009 as a "walker and talker" with the Hablando Claro program. In 2010 he was hired as a Program Assistant for the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program. Federal funding for this program was eliminated October 2011. Travis remained as part of our Community Service and Restitution program then as a coordinator of Hablando Claro. As of July 2012 Travis will work with the Workforce Investment Act Youth Services Program.
Originally from Siler City, North Carolina Travis has worked with various community organizations in Chatham County.
Miguel Olvera, Community Garden Project Coordinator and Program Assistant, Community Service & Restitution and Teen Court
Miguel Angel Olvera Sanchez is originally from Alamo Veracruz, Mexico. His relationship with the agency first began in 2010 through the Hablando Claro program participating in classes (Home Health Parties) with his family. He was impressed with the program and he and his family continued as volunteers, supporting the program in diverse activities such as fundraising and activities with the youth. During this time, Miguel was also studying at CCCC to get his GED, and in January of 2012, graduated with honors. Because of his efforts to achieve, he has received a scholarship to continue his studies. Miguel worked as a Promotoro and Lead Promotoro for the Hablando Claro Program. Currently, he coordinates the Community Garden and assists with Community Service & Restitution and Teen Court.