Introducing our Program Director – Gezim Gashi

Earlier this year, the Mentor USA team was extended when Gezim Gashi joined us as our new Program Director. Gezim has several years of experience within education and his work has been recognized by both Harvard University and Forbes magazine. We are so excited to have welcomed Gezim to our team and we now want to give you the opportunity to get to know him a little bit better!

17 November 2021 | News

Gezim Gashi is an entrepreneur, educationalist, mentor, producer, manager, and author, who’s innovative work in music, entertainment, and education has been recognized by Forbes magazine multiple times, as well as Harvard University where he has held his own masterclass.

Gezim has now taken on the role as Mentor USA’s new Program Director where he is facilitating high-quality student and youth programming. This includes, but is not limited to, inspiring and motivating youth leadership and peer-to-peer programs, focusing on the innate talents of youth, and providing a platform for them to make their voices heard. All while engaging youth in positive and creative activities, empowering them to become their own advocates, and to live healthy and productive lives, free of drugs. Not only this, Gezim will also expand Mentor Foundation USA’s existing youth network and build relationships with other like-minded organizations, companies, and schools for creative and motivational youth-related programming in the United States.

I have worked in education since 2015 and love being a mentor to all my students. Becoming the Program Director for Mentor Foundation USA felt like a very organic step as Mentor’s missions align very well with all my other missions. I’m excited to share my tools, knowledge, and expertise with the Mentor Foundation platform.

Gezim Gashi

Get to know Gezim a bit better and read about his thoughts on mentoring, his role as Program Director, his upcoming book, and more in the interview below!

Gezim, we are so excited to finally get to introduce you a bit more to Mentor USA’s friends and supporters! Could you start off by presenting yourself shortly?

My name is Gezim Gashi, I’m a former refugee from Kosovo who came to Sweden in early 1990 with my family. We relocated in Alvesta and I grew up there until in my early 20s when I decided to pursue the American dream. Thanks to that brave move, I can today call myself an entrepreneur, producer, speaker, educationalist, and now, author.

What inspired you to want to take on the role as Program Director at Mentor Foundation USA?

I have worked in education since 2015 and love being a mentor to all my students. In 2019, I became the first Albanian-Swede to launch a high school institute in the United States, The OCS Institute of Arts and Innovation, located in Los Angeles, California. We have had a lot of success and recently were recognized by Forbes for the work we have done these last few years. Becoming the Program Director for Mentor Foundation USA felt like a very organic step as Mentor’s missions align very well with all my other missions. I’m excited to share my tools, knowledge, and expertise with the Mentor Foundation platform. 

How has these first couple of months working at Mentor USA been? 

It has been incredible to know more of Mentor Foundation, to hear the stories, to see the work, and to work closely with the team of Mentor Foundation. We have already connected my former students (one of them is Asher Yelo, signed to legendary Quincy Jones Productions) who have held masterclasses to the kids at Mentor Foundation and it has been incredible to see the response. I’m excited to continue building bridges and to create new stories with the team. 

Gezim Gashi Program Director - Mentor USA visiting Oaks Christian School
Gezim together with Advisory Board Member Magnus Lygdbäck and President Gudrun Giddings during a visit at Oaks Christian School.

Why is the mission of Mentor USA meaningful to you? 

It is very meaningful to me because we have never lived in a more important time than now where we have to guide the younger generation to become storytellers, this world feels as it’s going in all kinds of directions all the time, but I believe in this younger generation and with their storytelling, I really believe we will go the right way. Therefore, through the mission of Mentor USA, I want to contribute to storytellers around the world. 

Can you tell us about a mentor you have had in your life that was important to you? 

My first mentor outside of the home was Harriett from Grönkullaskolan in Alvesta. I’ve always been a big dreamer. When I was in second grade, I stood in front of my whole class and told them I’m going to make Swedish history in the US. I could already then feel my purpose and feel that I was meant to do something big. All the kids looked at me like big questions marks. Harriett applauded after my speech and said: “Look at Gezim, he knows his purpose and is letting that guide him to life.” After that, Harriett was my biggest supporter, and she was there for me whenever. Sadly, she passed away a few years ago but I think of her a lot and how much she believed in me. 

What do you hope to accomplish in your role as Program Director? 

I want to create stories and proof of concept with Mentor USA. I want to show why and how this mission can change people’s lives. 

I want to create stories and proof of concept with Mentor USA. I want to show why and how this mission can change people’s lives.

Gezim Gashi

What are some things you enjoy other than working with Mentor and your other projects and commitments? 

Well, when I don’t work, I like to be with my family and nephews and nieces. Nothing makes me happier than being home. 

In just a couple of weeks, you are releasing your first book! Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Yes, my first book, Unlocked: The Power of You is coming November 29 and will be available for purchase on It is a self-help book about how to unleash your fullest potential. As a former refugee from Kosovo, coming to Sweden and having my success in the US and even my own masterclass at Harvard University, it felt important to write a book about how it’s not about who you know, it’s all about how you know people. An important key to really connect with people in an authentic way. 

And as always, we finish up with the question: What is your favorite inspirational or motivational quote?

“Winners focus on winning, and losers focus on winners. Focus on YOU.”

Once again, we want to welcome Gezim and say that we are so happy to have him on the Mentor USA team! Stay tuned for more exciting news about our youth programs and career mentoring.


Gezim Gashi is a Swedish entrepreneur and author with roots from Kosovo. He has 7 years of background in education and has been recognized by Harvard University where Gezim held a masterclass for the students. In 2019, Gezim became the first Albanian and Swede to launch a high school institute in the United States. The prestigious OCS Institute of Arts and Innovation located in Los Angeles, California. On November 29th he’s debuting with his self-help book “Unlocked: The Power of You” which shares his tools about how to unleash our greatest potential.

Gezim Gashi