Get Inspired by These Real-Life Mentor-Mentee Relationships
Even some of the most iconic and inspiring individuals had to start somewhere. From art to tech to politics, these dynamic figures have left a considerable impact on society—thanks in large part to the mentors who offered them tips, insights, and resources along the way. Today, more than one in three students at risk of not graduating from high school grew up without an adult mentor. But it’s clear that with the right guidance at the right time, any one of us could change the world.
GOOD is proud to collaborate with AT&T Inc., committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, AT&T has passed the $250 million mark on its plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.
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Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs
Of course! In the early days of Facebook, Zuckerberg regularly met with Jobs to get insights on his burgeoning business and marketing strategy. Two of the most recognizable figures in tech were friends until the end of Jobs’ life, learning from each other and shaping each other’s journeys in the digital world.
Martin Luther King, Jr., and Benjamin Mays
Martin Luther King, Jr., may have been the leader of the civil rights movement, but he was not the first activist out there by any means. Benjamin Mays was a minister, educator, and activist who taught at Morehouse College, where King studied. The two developed a mentor-mentee relationship based on their shared religious and political beliefs.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol
These two 20th-century artists were not just collaborators; they were good friends and often sources of inspiration for each other. If it weren’t for Warhol’s frequent tales and tips about the artistic process, Basquiat may never have become the artist that he did.
Jerry Wexler and Aretha Franklin
You may have never heard his name, but you've definitely heard of some of his prodigeés: His star-studded list of mentees include the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and more. Wexler was a music journalist turned producer who is also famous for coining the term "rhythm and blues," better known abbreviated as R&B.
Photo via Brett Jordan
Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Two authors, two epic novels, one little-known relationship. Although The Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick are vastly different masterpieces, their respective authors had a close friendship, exchanging letters and notes on each other's writings throughout their lives.
Oprah Winfrey and Mrs. Duncan
Sometimes the people with the most quotidian roles in our lives can make the biggest impact. For Oprah, she says that it was her fourth grade teacher Mrs. Duncan who imparted on her the wisdom and courage to pursue her dreams. And one of the emotional moments of her show took place in 1989, when Mrs. Duncan and Oprah reunited to discuss the impact the two had on each other’s lives.
Photo via YouTube screenshot