At some point in the odyssey of our lives, most of us have been affected by caring adults who made a difference: their advice, their guidance, their example led us to encounter the world. The Person Who Changed My Life is a collection of essays in which individuals who have distinguished themselves in their fields write about the men and women who served as their mentors. Among the contributors are Walter Cronkite, Larry King, Dr. Arthur Caliandro, Elie Wiesel, Marian Wright Edelman, Julia Child, Gloria Estefan, and Dina Merrill.
All seventy-five contributors paint moving portraits of the people who had a lasting influence on their personal or professional lives. In so doing, they tell us something very personal about themselves. In this varied collection of essays, the word mentor takes on many different meanings--we read about favorite teachers, personal friends, older co-workers, and even fictional characters.
In the foreword, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton writes about her own experiences with mentoring and emphasizes the importance of getting involved in programs to help children in the early grades by giving them positive adult role models. And in the introduction, Matilda Cuomo describes how mentoring works and how you can become a mentor and start a mentoring organization in your community.
These informative and heartfelt essays by people who have excelled in their professions by hard work and perseverence, and with the helpful assistance of others, will inspire the reader to become a mentor and influence the lives of children in his or her own community. In his essay, Pete Hamill writes about how several mentors played a role in his life and discusses the importance of developing an internal mentor who is "a composite of a number of people, those we know and those we have never met." In the introduction Matilda Raffa Cuomo demonstrates how it is vital that children receive one-to-one attention from caring adults who can serve as inspirational examples to the children, teaching the children the value of hard work in school and beyond. She describes the many benefits children receive, her own memorable mentors, and the great sense of satisfaction a mentor experiences.
The Person Who Changed My Life paints a moving picture of human service, community involvement, and simple compassion. And its stories of success are testimony to the long-lasting impact a mentor can have on a person both as a child and as an adult.