A note from Leslie Adelman, President and Co-Founder
The MentorPrize initiative took flight in November of 2014 when I heard a young woman speak at a community event about the challenges she had faced in her quest for an education. Her family’s struggles and the chaos that engulfed her day-to-day life nearly derailed her chances of securing a successful future. As her narrative unfolded, it became clear that she managed to cope with the adversity and ultimately obtain a college degree thanks in large part to the special bond she’d formed with her mentor, Steve Hull. Learning about this young woman’s journey moved me, causing me to reflect on my own life and the unofficial mentors who helped shape my character and development as I progressed from high school, to college, to law school and beyond. When the presentation ended, I introduced myself to the young woman and Steve, mostly because I wanted to thank her for sharing her story and learn more from Steve about how I could get involved in mentoring. Steve could sense my enthusiasm, and shared with me his idea of forming a “mentor corp” that would recruit mentors and place them in mentoring programs within non-profit organizations. Since then, I’ve launched MentorPrize with a team dedicated to leading an initiative that fosters, improves, and increases the number of mentoring relationships in our community. At MentorPrize, we believe that these types of relationships offer many benefits to all who take part in them. Positively influencing the life of another can be a gratifying experience, one that offers the opportunity for the kind of meaningful personal connections that lead to a more empathetic society. And the best part is — there are limited barriers to entry. You don’t need money, connections or a fancy education to be a mentor. Many of us possess the skills needed to empower, guide, and comfort others if we’re willing to take the time to make rewarding connections.