With the help of my friend Dawn Carroll, a founder of The Over My Shoulder Foundation, I was inspired to become a part of this movement. Today, I am the still photographer for Over My Shoulder, visually documenting those involved in mentoring- the core focus of the project.

During these photo sessions, I have had the opportunity to hear inspiring stories, stories that underscore the intense impact mentoring can have on a person’s life. Looking at my own children, the oldest being five, I hope that they will continue to have mentors in their lives, to inspire them to reach for greatness and build self-confidence. Teens present another key group that would benefit from mentoring relationships. When I see so many kids without anywhere to go after school, I feel a program like Over My Shoulder takes them off the streets and energizes them to do things that they never thought they were capable of doing. When you think of mentoring, people often think of an older person helping out someone younger but that is not always so. Mentoring is simply about helping those in need, offering guidance to better another’s life.

Over My Shoulder is truly an incredible project. If you have the opportunity to help people in need, why not join us? As someone who believes it is important to get involved with projects that you are passionate about, I am proud to be part of a project with such a selfless, inspirational mission. Who couldn’t use a mentor at some point in their life? We all have qualities and traits that can help people. Taking the time to share these skills with others may ultimately create a better future for them. The best aspect of mentoring is that it is never-ending; those you mentor can take that experience and go on to mentor others and keep the positive spirit of Over My Shoulder going.

Russ Mezikofsky, photographer

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