Daniel Oh

Mentor Empowerment Manager
A bit about Daniel...

At Curious Cardinals, I advocate for our amazing mentors as they delight and spark curiosity in young learners. This is such a special community, and mentorship has always meant so much to me. As a young Korean immigrant in rural Canada, I was taught English by an older student from the local high school because there was no ESL program in town to speak of. I later followed the footsteps of my favorite high school teacher to Northwestern University, where my professors in learning sciences inspired me to pursue education. Since then, I have received my master's in educational neuroscience from Harvard University, conducted curricular research in causal and visual learning, taught design thinking on both coasts of the United States, and built academic and college preparatory programs in Seoul. If not at work, I can be found with a coffee in hand, exploring by foot or making memories with others.

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What piece of advice would you give parents with unengaged students?

Students that seem unengaged might care about something that isn't obvious to us. Perhaps what they want to explore isn't accessible to them, or they may be looking for guidance on where to start. And even if we happen to have some answers, there might be a better person or a better time to deliver the message.

What was the most surprising part of the college experience for you?

I was surprised by the amount of independence and resilience required to make the most of my time at college. From the courses you take to the commitments you make, there is less structure out of the box: you have to design what you want your days to look like. As a result, there is a lot of trial and error, a lot of trying again and trying something different. Yes, college has so much to offer, but it is up to you to seek, cultivate, or even create the opportunities and relationships that define your experience.

Why is passion so important as it pertains to learning?

Passion furnishes us with the "why" behind the incredible efforts needed to stretch ourselves, imbues hurdles with value, and is a medium through which we form connections. There is simply too much for us to do aimlessly—so passion is the compass that orients us toward a life of meaning and purpose.

What kind of impact would you like Curious Cardinals to have?

I'm here to see Curious Cardinals scale wisdom, imagination, confidence, and human connection through mentorship. I want our platform to empower any student, anywhere in the world, to find a mentor who ignites their curiosity, sets their sights beyond limitations, and helps them discover their unique passions and talents.