Imogen Roche passed away suddenly in 2018 at 15 years of age.
Her father founded the organization with the original intention of caring for her peers, who were experiencing shock and grief, and who were struggling with the loss of an essential person in their lives. Imogen had been the friend who everybody leaned on. She was the shoulder to cry on, the ear that listened, and the calming voice on the other end of the phone that let her friends know that it’s OK not to feel OK. Her absence created a profound void in the lives of dozens of teenagers.
Bringing together a leadership committee of mostly teens (and a few adults), Imogen’s father began to build IF. The group planned and implemented large public events, in which hundreds of teens and adults came together to tell stories, express grief, and support one another. The teens kept meeting for roundtable discussions to workshop ideas and to form an ongoing mission of teaching children and teens to support one another.
Identifying what it was that Imogen provided to her friends during her lifetime, and how she did it, created a direction forward for her peers. If we can all learn how to be a little bit like Imogen, we can all still have a little Imogen in our lives.