Kim Melton first came to the West Coast when she was 18-years-old. She had just graduated from Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, Mo. and was about to embark on her next adventure: Stanford University.
“Moving from the midwest to the West Coast, it was kind of a geographic culture change but also just...an environment where everyone was really focused on solving problems...where knowledge and debate was really fostered,” she says of her time in Palo Alto.
After earning her bachelor’s in African-American Studies with a minor in communications, Kim studied journalism with an emphasis on newspapers, magazines and radio at University of California, Berkeley.
Upon graduation in 2004, Kim moved to New Orleans to work at the Times-Picayune Newspaper until a spot opened in The Oregonian’s residency program and Kim moved cross-country to Portland.
While at The Oregonian, Kim covered education starting with East Multnomah County, then Portland Public Schools and ultimately the state legislature.
“I really came to see that there was a lot of work happening both at the local level and the state level and that it wasn’t always connected,” Kim says. “I also saw that there was so much work to be done, not only change in the classroom but change in policies, change in programs, in training, in investments, in funding for schools.”
When she left The Oregonian in 2011, Kim joined Stand for Children as the communications and policy director. She later became a regional director for the organization, a role which she held for the next two years.
Today, in her role as policy advisor for Chair Kafoury’s office, Kim focuses largely on issues concerning children and equity. More specifically, she is involved with efforts including Early Learning Multnomah, the Portland Children's Levy, and the SUN Service System.
When it comes to her work at Multnomah County, Kim feels energized about being a “part of an institution that has the capacity to provide the kind of services and support to schools and families that can really get them through the challenges that they are facing as well as the commitment and vision to respond to community needs.”
In her spare time, Kim is an avid reader and enjoys creative writing, singing with her church and following college sports.