We have heard many say, “I just don’t have time to mentor.” We have also shown exquisite examples of how a single moment, one sentence, or just a few minutes can inspire profound changes in a person’s life.


Skype can help you stay connected across the globe. Source: Freedigitalphotos.net

Many years ago when I was just starting my career in Los Angeles, I remember speaking to the dynamic Sharon Osborne, wife of legendary rocker Ozzy Osborne. Sharon was rebuilding Ozzy’s career with gusto and re-inventing their entire “brand.” I never forgot the strategy meetings I participated in, where Sharon and some of the marketing minds of Hollywood discussed how they would rejuvenate a legend. For me, this was a “rockin” mentoring moment. A new generation of fans all over the world fell in love with Sharon and her family. Many got to know her as she mentored young aspiring artists on hit TV shows like “America’s Got Talent,” and watching her embrace the next generation of talent and encourage with her mentoring wisdom was unforgettable.

With a jam-packed schedule like Sharon’s, her “do-everything” attitude has found her participating in shows around the world at the same time! Her schedule was becoming hard to juggle, so she is leaning on technology—particularly Skype–to allow her to continue to mentor! Via Skype, Sharon will mentor her “X Factor” acts while she is flying back and forth to the United States to continue being a host on the U.S. Talk Show “The Chat.”

If you enjoy the content provided by Over My Shoulder Foundation, contact us! SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit, and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook, too!


High school students with mentors have a better chance at graduating. Source: Freedigitalphotos.net

We are passionate about ‘Designing the Next Generation’ at the Over My Shoulder Foundation and feel that you can never start mentoring too young. In fact, in our recent post about interesting pairs of famous mentors, many of the successful celebrities mentioned attribute many of their accomplishments to an influential figure that was present early in life.

Outlined below are some of the key benefits of mentoring for students and young people:

  • Students that are mentored are more likely to graduate from high school.
  • Schools that are involved in some type of mentorship program generally have lower dropout rates.
  • Students that have a mentor in their lives typically have a better attitude about school, which leads to higher college enrollment rates.
  • Young people with an active mentor will usually have healthier relationships with parents, teachers, and peers and stronger interpersonal skills.
  • Youth that are involved in a strong mentoring program make better lifestyle choices are less likely to engage in drug and alcohol use.
  • Students with a mentor are likely to have improved school attendance with fewer unexcused absences.
  • Young students involved in a mentoring program are less likely to participate in violent behavior. According to a study completed by the Big Brother Big Sisters program, youth with a mentor are 32 percent less likely to hit another person.

To learn more about the benefits of mentoring for students, please contact us at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.



Feedback from your mentee is very important to developing the relationship. Source: Freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve talked about the impact that a mentoring program within your organization can have, and I’ve shared some of the key benefits of such a program, including building employee loyalty, encouraging growth, and attracting high caliber employees. In order to put a successful program in place, you have to know how to measure how your mentorship program is performing. For this reason, I wanted to share some helpful tips for how to evaluate a mentorship program:

  • Before starting your mentorship program, determine what you hope to accomplish through the program. For example, if you are a sales organization, perhaps your goal is to have all mentees within the top quartile of sales performance rankings within one year of implementing the program.
  • Outline all of the elements that will be comprised in your organization’s mentorship program in order for it to be successful and refer to this regularly. It’s also a good idea to share this information with your organization’s mentees as well so that expectations are clear.
  • Establish clear and realistic goals on a monthly or quarterly basis and regularly check to see how the program is performing in relation to these goals.
  • Ask for feedback from the mentees, mentors, and perhaps other mentoring programs within your community. Sometimes you need constructive criticism to offer a better program for your organization.

To learn more about how to evaluate a mentorship program, please contact us at the Over My Shoulder Foundation. We are passionate about the art of mentorology and can share some best practices from other successful mentorship programs.


[box] Today I just found out that Stevie Wonder (one of my mentors from afar) and Arsenio Hall will be there when our Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder, Patti Austin, is inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame on June 22, 2013. I wanted to share some thoughts about mentors we haven’t met in person, and the ways that Stevie Wonder mentored me, from afar…

-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director[/box]

Mentors from Afar

Mentors come in all shapes,  styles and walks of life – some you meet and some you don’t.  The ones you never meet but influence you in a profound way are people you admire…I still call them mentors because they affect you.

Great speakers can stimulate great ideas while you listen. Great artists become the soundtracks of your life because their music takes you over and alters your thinking or perhaps changes your moves.

Today Our Mentor from Afar is Stevie Wonder!

Stevie Wonder has been sharing his mentoring messages through song all around the world since the 1960’s. He has been a star since he was a child and many of his songs have mentored the cultivation of calm, peace, unity and respect.

Stevie Wonder has never backed away from tackling difficult social issues. He has never withdrawn from his role in the front line as his music eliminates barriers. Every new song story is a mentoring message of  diversity, culture and individuality.

A great example of Stevie Wonder’s musical mentoring message is the song Ebony and Ivory. Ebony and Ivory is an anti-racism anthem. We’ve found a clip from when Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney perform this hit song at the White House!

Artists like Stevie  dare to say the things we wish we could say. They explain feelings that we might not fully understand. They touch our hearts and souls with their gifts unlike anything else in the world, baring their inner secrets, exposing their life lessons so we might learn from their mistakes.

Getting Excited About the Hollywood Bowl

As we prepare for the most unbelievable night this June 22 when our co-founder Patti Austin is inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame along with those rockers from Aerosmith Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and artist John Legend I will thank all those artists (many I never met) who influenced and mentored me. As I hear our lead song Over My Shoulder performed at the Hollywood Bowl I will realize some of my own dreams coming true and I will silently thank all those mentors that have come before me, and all those who will come after me.

When I see Patti on stage I will be wildly proud…Not just of her and our Over My Shoulder song, but to all of you who have helped keep the Over My Shoulder Foundation flourishing…This moment is for you too!

So with that… here is another Stevie Wonder song for you. I believe this song can mentor more love into our world.

“I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder


“Do it over. Do it differently. Do it until it can’t be done any better.”

-Stevie Wonder

 [box]If you like Over My Shoulder Foundation, please SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook too.[/box]



Hear compelling stories and successes during Steve Harvey’s program. Source: goarmyphotos

There are many examples of tremendously effective mentoring programs sprouting up all around the country. For those interested in mentoring events in Dallas, check out the recent Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men. Steve Harvey is a well known comedian, author, television host, and radio host, but many people may not realize that he would not be who he is today without the mentors that he had along the way.

For this reason, he is passionate about mentoring the younger generation and hosted his 5th annual national Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men in Dallas the week of June 11-16th. Coincidentally, this event was held over Father’s Day weekend, and Harvey put on this mentoring event to reach 100 young men that do not have a father figure in their lives.

Participants took part in physical challenges with the U.S. Army, sport segments such as golf, baseball, football, and basketball, fishing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and discuss important topics pertaining to the sports industry, education, personal image, relationships, and what it takes to be a man. Motivational speakers in addition to Harvey included Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Marvin Thompson, Deion Sanders, and several other special guests.

To learn more about upcoming mentoring events in Dallas, please contact us at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.


One of the hallmarks of this American culture is self-reliance. Messages about doing it all on our own, and being strong and tough and persevering abound, not only for men, but also for women. When a woman finds herself in the position of being a single mom raising a son on her own, most people look the other way and tell her to just carry on.


Young boys learn a lot from their Mom, but the value of a male model can’t be understated. Source: Freedigitalphotos.net

When my son was 4 ½, his dad and I divorced after being separated for about a year and a half.  I was the primary custodial parent, but my son did have contact with his dad.  However, when my son was 12, he and his dad stopped seeing one another.  My son had asked his dad to address some serious issues between them, and his dad responded by pulling away.

Initially, the separation was very good for my son. He and I finally had the space for my son to have a more “normal life.”  Soccer, Red Sox games, movies and leadership conferences all became easier to take part in for my son with his life unencumbered by the issues with his dad.

Realizing that my son needed good male role models in his life, I sought out organizations and activities that allowed my son to interact with male mentors. I found Boys to Men New England when he was 12, and over time, BTMNE became a critical part of the emotional foundation for my son’s life.

One part of Boys to Men is an annual Rites of Passage teen weekend workshop in August.  My son participated in the workshop when he was 13, and staffed it when he was 14, 15 and 16.   When he was 15, it became clear that my son was feeling deep pain from what I have come to call “the father wound.”  Even though he was part of a community of men and boys during the workshop, the absence of his father cut deep.

My son started to ask questions about who his father was and who he might be since his father provided half of his genetic material.  My son wondered why his father might disappear and leave his son. And my son also felt the pain of his parents’ divorce and estrangement.  No matter how hard I tried to support my son’s interests and find resources that also supported his interests, there was a huge void inside of him that I could not fill:  the father wound.

Over time, I came to realize that no matter how good a mom I was, no matter how hard I tried to find resources to help my son and to help him learn to help himself, because I was his mom and not his dad, there were many things I just could not do.

A teenage boy looks to men in his quest to determine what it means to be a man. I was not a man. A teenage boy needs to hear the story of other men’s journey to manhood.  I did not take that journey as a woman.


Young boys can benefit from the stories of successful male mentors. Source: Freedigitalphotos.net

The mentors in Boys to Men had something to offer my son that I could never give him:  the experience of growing up male in this culture, and coming to define the men they wanted to be through their experiences growing up—with and without the support and involvement of other men.

As my son’s struggle deepened, I realized it was the other men he needed to talk to, not just his mom.  Having a support group of  men who knew him became invaluable as he started to face some increasingly difficult and painful passages in his own personal journey towards manhood, a journey that is still underway.

It takes a village to raise a child, and the village must include male mentors and role models deeply committed to the best interests of each male child.  When my son feels connected to other men who care, his spirit grows.  When my son feels isolated and alone, especially from other men, his pain grows.

I am very clear I cannot do it alone, and I cannot successfully guide my son to manhood without the care, commitment and involvement of other good men. If you are a man who cares about boys in their transition to manhood, become a mentor with Boys to Men. There are many other boys like my son out there counting on you. And even boys who have two parent homes need a village that includes emotionally available men.

Opening your heart to a teenage boy can be the difference between helping a young man learn to fly, and watching someone with great potential crash as his pain weighs down his wings.

If you enjoy the content provided by Over My Shoulder Foundation, contact us! SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit, and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook, too!


Jean Stapleton passed away last Friday, May 31. Her time with us lasted for a fulfilling 90 years. We will probably best remember Jean for portraying the role of “Edith Bunker” in the TV show All in the Family.

All in the Family was such a lightning rod for mentoring…

 70’s Sitcoms : How They Mentored Us All

Whether we were ready or not, many of the American Sitcom TV shows in the 1970’s served as a wake-up call for how our world was changing.

Through controversial, a sitcom’s comedic structure could tackle the tough conversations of the times on topics like:

  • Women’s Liberation,
  • Racism,
  • Vietnam War,
  • Menopause, and
  • Rape.

Those were just some of the major issues, but there were also many others. The episodes took subject matters that few were willing or capable of talking about and mentored viewers that these subject matters could not remain under the rug or in the closet.

Jean Stapleton as All in the Family‘s Edith Bunker

All in the Family helped issues enter everyday conversations, and those issues needed so desperately to come out. The show is a perfect example of how producers and writers in the 70’s took the complicated, controversial subject matters of that time and mentored viewers towards a more tolerant and compassionate understanding.

Jean Stapleton was the brilliant actress that brought character Edith from All in the Family to life. Edith was the exquisite example of how simple mentoring can be – even in difficult or awkward situations.

As the wife of bigot Archie Bunker (Actor Carroll O’Connor) Edith mentored him. She navigated and tamed the turbulent, tortured attitude of her husband and quelled his temper with her nurturing ways.

A Beautiful Good-Bye to Jean, from All in the Family Producer Norman Lear

All in the Family became one of the most influential shows in television history. Today we remember Jean and her “Edith” legacy. Perhaps noone can understand better how Jean impacted the world around her than All in the Family producer Norman Lear. We share with you the beautiful words of Norman’s heart-felt goodbye as posted in the New York Times:

“She’s always where she is…No one gave more profound “how to be a human being” lessons than Jean Stapleton”

When someone as successful and influential as Norman Lear gives such a soaring review of someone’s influence, you know that they can mentor you in some aspect of your life. Now, how can YOU mentor others? How are others mentoring YOU?

Thank You, Jean, for the great work you left us

during the great life you lived.

 [box]If you like Over My Shoulder Foundation, please SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook too.[/box]




Pool your abilities to find the Street Seats exhibit.

Spending quality time with your mentee is one of the biggest keys to success for a well established mentor/mentee relationship. While touching base over a cup of coffee is one way to strengthen the relationship, you may want to consider attending an event together that your mentee is passionate about. For those in the design world, one of the potential activities for mentors and mentees could be to visit the Design Museum Boston.

The Design Museum Boston is the region’s first of its kind as the museum is solely dedicated to design. The mission of the museum is to not only educate its visitors about how design fits into their world, but to also unite the Massachusetts design community.

The museum puts on a number of events throughout the year, which could provide you and your mentee the perfect introduction to the museum. Once a month, the museum hosts CreativeMornings, which includes a twenty minute lecture typically given by a local designer and is followed by a 20 minute group discussion.

This event is free of charge and provides the ideal opportunity to network with other members of the design community. Another exciting upcoming event is the dParty, which takes place on June 1 from 6 – 11 pm and will include music, food, drinking, and dancing. This event provides patrons with a fun and unique way to celebrate the Boston design community and make new contacts.

To find out about more activities for mentors and mentees, please contact us at the Over My Shoulder Foundation!

Image Source: AnubisAbyss

[box] The magnetic pull of the ocean can be healing, spiritual and thought-provoking. It is a mentor. A crash of a wave, the cry of a gull or the salty scent can make us think about where we are in life, where we have been and where we might want to go.

Earlier this year we introduced you to water photographer Jeff Hornbaker and his thoughts about mentoring. His images of the world can teach you how to look in such a magnificent, new and unfathomable way that you will swear after that he MENTORED you to see the best of what the earth has to offer.

The Ocean and it’s many Mentorology messages is one many of us simply cannot live without, and that’s why today on June 8 we are celebrating World Ocean Day with the rest of our planet. Help preserve this magnificence and protect it for our future generations. Help mentor kindness, respect and gratitude for this majestic gift. Organize a beach clean-up or simply re-post this story!

I’d like to inspire you to take action today, on World Ocean Day, with one of my favorite poems written by surfer and artist John O’Brien.

Life on earth depends on a healthy and clean ocean. What will you do to protect it today?

-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director [/box]


Surfer Dreams by John O’Brien

Every wave has a life and a death.

They are born of winds, gravity, and earthquakes, and live a life of travel until that fateful day

when a reef, point, or sandbar is met and their lives expire

in one final crashing breath.


As in any system, energy is not lost.

When caught, their life is transferred to the surfers who ride them.

In that moment the surfer becomes one with the wave.

This drama of life is played out differently each time.

It ends in a previously unforeseen liquid reward or tragedy:

a graceful glide, exhilarating tube ride, or horrific wipeout.


When all goes well, surfers experience incredible bursts of

euphoria, happiness, and excitement called stoke.

All photography by John O’Brien

[box]If you like Over My Shoulder Foundation, please SHARE your mentoring stories, consider donating to our non-profit and don’t forget to follow Over My Shoulder Foundation on Facebook too.[/box]



A mediator can help solve conflicts.

As with any relationship, there may come a time where emotions are kicked into high gear due to an issue that has evolved. Addressing and resolving the issue as soon as possible is essential to maintaining a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Here are some useful conflict resolution tips to help aid you in your discussion:

  • Ideally, issues should be discussed in person as they are important and merit a face-to-face meeting. This allows both people to address the issue in “real time” and increases the chances that it can be resolved at a faster pace. Written communication all too often can be misinterpreted and lead to further escalation of the issue.
  • If an issue can not be easily resolved, one idea is to consider introducing an unbiased mediator to the situation. Sometimes having a third party hear both sides of the story can help in making headway with the issue.
  • Once the issue has been resolved, both parties should look back on it as a learning experience. Sometimes a conflict provides the perfect opportunity to reintroduce ground rules and clearly discuss expectations and outcomes of the relationship.

While many people try to avoid conflict at all costs, dealing with an issue between a mentor and mentee can sometimes help to strengthen and solidify the relationship if the issue is rectified in a positive manner.

We like to share mentoring success stories at the Over My Shoulder Foundation, and you will often hear them address conflict resolution within their relationships. Please contact us to learn more about our organization and our passion for the mentoring relationship.

Image Source: morguefile.com


Recognized as a tireless philanthropist and artist, Patti Austin will be inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame at the Hollywood Bowl opening night. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry & John Legend will also be honored as inductees.

Los Angeles, CA, United States – June 4th, 2013

Grammy Award winner Patti Austin is being inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame along with three other artists—John Legend, Steve Tyler and Joe Perry—in a benefit concert to be held on June 22, 2013 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. The 14th Annual Hall of Fame Concert will benefit the LA Philharmonic’s Education Research Program. It commences in June and will feature the four inductees performing with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the baton of conductor Thomas Wilkin. Tickets are available here.

The Hollywood Bowl is the largest outdoor amphitheater in the United States and is located right in the heart of LA’s Hollywood, California. It has been the venue for many of the world’s finest performances since its inception in 1922. Each year organizers fete musical legends by featuring them in a concert ushering in a new season and inducting the performing artists into the Hall of Fame.

The program will highlight Ms. Austin’s career, from starting her singing career at the age of four to becoming a philanthropist through her Blue Movement (a cause to end domestic violence against women, children and men) and Over My Shoulder Foundation ‘OMSF’ (a non-profit organization that promotes mentoring through music and design).

Ms. Austin personifies the mission of OMSF — to break down cultural and age barriers to facilitate self-empowerment and transference of knowledge between the disciplines of music and design — as she herself has benefited from mentoring and, in return, has mentored younger artists in various ways. Ms. Austin calls this “Mentorology” — a term she and co-founder Dawn Carroll coined to describe the OMSF mission. Among Ms. Austin’s distinguished mentors are notable legends Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington.

This year’s Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Concert is being organized by producers Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton, whose attention was caught by the music video of Over My Shoulder. The song Over My Shoulder was written by Dawn Carroll, Charlie Farren, Brynn Arens and Barry Orms.

About Patti Austin
Grammy winner Patti Austin crosses all musical genres, has made 17 solo albums, and has performed her award-nominated hit songs on the GRAMMYS® and the Oscars. As a performer, songwriter and vocalist she has had a star-studded career that began at the age of four, making her one of the most beloved artists the world over and a mainstay on the Billboard Jazz Albums charts. Patti’s extraordinary career continues to cross over boundaries and reach new heights.

About Over My Shoulder Foundation
The Over My Shoulder Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Patti Austin and Dawn Carroll to promote mentoring and Mentorology through music and design. OMSF hails Mentorology, the art and science of mentoring, as the number-one priority as they move forward producing live events which bring together industry leaders in order to pay tribute to great mentors and put the spotlight on the importance of mentoring. OMSF started with a song called “Over My Shoulder,” as a duet performed by legendary Patti Austin and one of her mentees, Lianna Gutierrez.

Visit http://pattiaustin.com for more information.

Contact Info
Name: Barry Orms
Email: marketopp@aol.com

Source: http://marketersmedia.com/singer-mentor-patti-austin-to-be-inducted-into-hollywood-bowls-hall-of-fame/15060



Group mentoring can take your company to new heights.

At the Over My Shoulder Foundation, we are constantly looking for ways to raise the awareness of the positive impact that mentoring can make, especially within organizations. If your organization is currently considering implementing an employee mentor program, one option to consider is group mentoring. This unique concept pairs one mentor with five or more mentees that get together periodically throughout the year. This is an ideal option to consider if you do not have many mentors within your organization, but have several mentees looking for guidance.

Management Mentors offers several reasons why group mentoring could benefit your organization:

  • The mentee will not only benefit from building a relationship with a mentor, but will also grow through the relationship that he or she builds with fellow mentees in the group.
  • Mentoring through a group provides strength in numbers, offering a diverse range of viewpoints, approaches, and outlooks.
  • Mentoring a collective group of people helps to build camaraderie within the organization and within the group itself.
  • A group setting can provide a more comfortable environment for a mentee that may be intimidated to meet one-on-one with a senior leader within the organization.
  • Additional learning opportunities such as group projects or activities can be created through a group mentoring setting.

To learn more about mentoring and how it can benefit your organization, please contact us at the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

Image Source: IntelFreePress