Byline: The Over My Shoulder Project is a national mentoring initiative that uses music to raise awareness about the impact of mentoring both cross-culturally and cross-generationally. It is led by songwriter/designer Dawn Carroll and endorsed by American television writer and producer Norman Lear and Grammy Award winning singing legend Patti Austin. The Over My Shoulder Project is on a fast track to growth, waiting on approval on application for 501(c)(3) status as a charitable organization and actively seeking out partnerships with individuals who want to use their talents to raise awareness about the impact of mentoring, or “Mentorology,” the art of mentoring.

The Over My Shoulder Project, a national mentoring initiative that uses music to raise awareness about the impact of mentoring both cross-culturally and cross-generationally, was inspired by the unique relationship between Grammy Award winning singer Patti Austin and respected songwriter/designer Dawn Carroll. When Boston-based integrated marketing communications firm Laidlaw Group was added to the mix, the Over My Shoulder Project was on its way to becoming a nationally recognized advocate for the power of mentoring.

The Boston-based Over My Shoulder Project is led by Dawn Carroll and endorsed by American television writer and producer Norman Lear and Grammy Award winning singing legend Patti Austin to raise awareness about the impact of mentoring, or “Mentorology,” the art of mentoring. Mentoring for everyone involved in the Over My Shoulder Project is not a concept – it is reality. First, Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington mentored Patti Austin. Then Patti mentored Dawn Carroll in the music business and is guiding now 15-year old Lianna Gutierrez, a young singer of Filipina descent generating amazing buzz as her protégé. In May 2009 Barry Orms, the Music Manager of Patti Austin and Lianna Gutierrez, asked longtime friend Dawn Carroll to write lyrics for Lianna and the result was a little song called Over My Shoulder that is having a big impact on promoting the power of mentoring because it is based on Dawn’s belief in hope, courage and transformation. This August, Patti Austin realizes a longtime dream and enters the design profession as the mentee of Dawn Carroll – it is destiny.

The song Over My Shoulder, which premiered in June 2009 at the Power Girls Gala, was written by Dawn Carroll, Charlie Farren, Brynn Arens and Barry Orms. The version of the song performed at the Gala event was produced by legendary keyboardist Greg Phillinganes who was Michael Jackson’s Musical Director on the road. The stunning performance is sung as a duet by mentor Patti Austin and mentee Lianna Gutierrez. The song continues to influence the world of mentoring as Patti Austin will release her Shanachie Entertainment debut CD, Sound Advice, on August 31, 2010 and contribute a portion of the proceeds to the Over My Shoulder Project. Dawn says, “The song reminds us that without support and emotional sustenance, without a positive influence in our lives, we can be come lost, disconnected and unstable…as individuals and as a society. With the Over My Shoulder Project, we are using the power of music to launch mentoring initiatives starting in Boston then growing on a national level.”

On August 8, Patti Austin will be in Boston to promote the Over My Shoulder Project. She will premiere the song Over My Shoulder on Boston’s popular radio station, Magic 106.7 while being interviewed by Candy O’Terry on her show, Exceptional Women and debut her interior design aspirations in Boston’s thriving design community as the mentee of Dawn Carroll where she will start to realize her longtime dream of becoming a decorator. Patti says, “Our goal is to break down barriers that separate generations of people and cultures. Through mentoring, we are all increasingly interdependent on each other, rather than independent individuals. And, because of people’s interdependency, the Over My Shoulder Project hopes to foster respect, diversity, culture and individuality.”

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