Monday, June 3, 2013


The above word means mentor in Greek. I studied Greek a semester at Fresno State. It was one of the hardest but most beloved classes I had the pleasure of having.
Today at work, a co-worker and I exchanged phone numbers. She just got into the Master’s program at State and was informing me that today would be her last day working with me. I said good, now we can be friends. She replied, “even better, I need someone like you to mentor me. You can teach me all you know about English and literature and make me a better writer.”

Another co-worker quickly jumped in that he had a mentor while in college and it changed his life and opened doors in business and made available many opportunities for growth.

In life, we are given many people that really change our paths. Some may be family, or friends or college professors. The first mention of a mentor can be found in Homer’s The Odyssey. The word mentor actually derived from such a story.

In Greek mythology, Mentor was a great trusted friend of Odysseus and tutor to his son Telemachus. Odysseus’s wife Athena would often assume the form of Mentor and give advice to their son while Odysseus was off fighting the Trojan war, thus beginning the role of a mentor in one’s life. The name mentor means wise and trusted counselor.

I may no longer be in college, but I don’t think one is ever to old to have a mentor. I know now, as a mother and wife, and writer, I too, would love a mentor. I am going to have to find one or bring an old one back. Like a former boss of mine, who does non-profit work. She made such a huge impact on me and although we are still in contact, finding time to meet with her proves harder and harder. But I may just have to find the time. The conversation today really opened me up to the fact that we all need someone to look up to, to confide in and grow from and with and not just a friend but a mentor.

Here are some great famous people that I came across that had influential mentors. So who is your mentor?
William Jefferson Clinton : Nelson Mandela was Clintons mentor. Clinton has this to say about Mandela-"He came out of twenty-seven years in prison a stronger, greater man than he was when he went in," Clinton wrote. "He said his transformation began when he realized his tormentors could take everything from him 'except my mind and my heart. Those things I would have to give them. I decided not to give them away. And neither should you.' "

Stanley Tucci ( I just love this guy. He is so amazing): says his father, head of a high school art department in New York, was also his greatest mentor. "As a teacher he had humor and patience, adapting himself easily to each student's needs, personality, and ability," Tucci wrote. "Most important, he taught without judgment, believing that grades should not even be given in art.... it was for these reasons that I grew up not being afraid of my creative impulses, but following them."

And of course the amazing Supreme Court Justice. My hero, Sonia Sotomayor.“When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become--whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm--her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, 'Yes, someone like me can do this.”
Sonia Sotomayor
& a few more celebs.

Christian Dior, fashion designer, mentored Yves St. Laurent, fashion designer

Maya Angelou, poet, mentored Oprah Winfrey, actress and talk show host.

Oprah Winfrey mentored Dr. Phil McGraw, psychologist and talk show host

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