Every week, Kars4Kids supports adults and teens who mentor other adults, teens or younger children. Our sister organization, Oorah, also provides many opportunities for young adults to act as role models and mentor teens.
The beauty of mentoring is everyone benefits. The mentor gains a spiritual and emotional benefit by watching a mentee blossom and succeed. And the mentee can thrive in a relationship that provides knowledge and nourishes him or her emotionally and spiritually. There are rough bumps along the road of life for all of us, but having a mentor can help a young person ride them out and end up better for it.
In the spirit of National Mentoring Month, we took a look at famous mentors and mentees to see some examples of how this works:
- Oscar Hammerstein was an award-winning Broadway songwriter (Oklahoma, Sound of Music) when he took 12-year old Stephen Sondheim under his wing and gave him some brutal, but honest, advice that helped the younger man improve his skills. The relationship lasted until Hammerstein’s death. Sondheim now mentors other composers, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, who shared the early version of Hamilton with him.
- French painter Edouard Manet (1832-1883) served as a mentor to his sister-in-law, Berthe Morisot, (1841-1895), one of two women who painted and exhibited with the French Impressionist group of artists and the only one who was also a wife and mother.
- Sports broadcaster Red Barber (1908-1992) brought 22-year old Vin Scully into the Brooklyn broadcasting booth in 1950. Scully went on to replace Barber as the Voice of the Dodgers, retiring in 2014 after a remarkable 67-year run.
- Ellis Marsalis, Jr. provided structured musical training to teen-aged prodigy Harry Connick, Jr. who made his New York singing debut when he was 18. Connick proudly calls the 84-year old Marsalis his mentor when the two perform together today.
Can you think of some examples of famous mentors and mentees? Do you have a mentor who has transformed your life? This would be a good time to send your mentor a note of thanks.