By Nora McAniff/President
October 16, 2000 12:00 PM

You’ve Got Mentors!

For Gregory Hines, it was a high school English and drama teacher, Frank Mosier. “He turned my life around,” says the actor/dancer. “I went from somebody who felt that because I could tap-dance life was going to be a cakewalk to someone who realized that education was very important too.”

Many successful people, whatever their field, have someone they credit with encouraging them, giving them direction, just being there for them through their teenage years. Unfortunately there are also thousands of kids who don’t have anyone to fill that role. We at PEOPLE would like to help change that. We’re launching, in partnership with America Online, the Digital Heroes Campaign, an effort to connect such kids with prominent people in online mentoring relationships.

Set up with the help of the National Mentoring Partnership and Gateway Computer’s nonprofit Waitt Family Foundation, our six-month pilot program pairs kids between 13 and 17 with more than 120 role models, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Camryn Manheim, Gen. Colin Powell, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Bryant Gumbel and track star Marion Jones. (The full list of Heroes is on these pages.) PowerUP, a nonprofit group that helps underprivileged youth acquire computer skills, recruited the kids, who will exchange e-mail with their assigned heroes at least once each week to chat about their lives, their goals and their dreams. “It gives us the opportunity to really use the power of the Internet to change people’s lives, to expand their horizons,” says Bob Pittman, president and COO of America Online.

Some may even build lifelong relationships, like the one Gregory Hines still treasures with Mr. Mosier. “I’m going to e-mail him and let him know I’m involved in mentoring so he can send me suggestions,” he says. “He will mentor me mentoring.”

More important, we hope the campaign will inspire others to get involved in mentoring programs in their areas. Interested? Visit http://www.mentoring.org or call 888-432-6368 for information about an organization near you. Go ahead. Give them a call. You just might change a kid’s life.

ANDREW ALLEN

astronaut

KEVYN AUCOIN

makeup artist

MARIO BATALI

chef

JEFF BEWKES

chairman & CEO, HBO Inc.

JUDY BLUME

author

GEOFFREY T. BOISI

vice chairman, Chase Manhattan Corp.

BERNIE BRILLSTEIN

entertainment manager

PIERCE BROSNAN

actor

LORENZO CARCATERRA

author

STEVE CASE

chairman & CEO, AOL Inc.

RAYMOND G. CHAMBERS

chairman, Amelior Foundation

JANE CLAYSON

anchor. The Early Show

KENNETH COLE

designer

CYNTHIA COOPER

basketball player

ANN CURRY

news anchor, Today

CHRISTOPHER DARDEN

attorney

GAVIN DE BECKER

security expert

RICK DEES

radio personality

JOHN PAUL DEJORIA

CEO, Paul Mitchell Systems

CRISTIAN DE LA FUENTE

actor

PAMELA DENNIS

designer

ELVIS DURAN

radio personality

KENNETH “BABYFACE” EDMONDS

musician

JOAN EMBERY

conservation ambassador, San Diego Zoo

EMME

model/TV personality

CHRIS ENDER

senior vice president, CBS Entertainment

MARY ENGELBREIT

illustrator

CHRIS EVERT

tennis player

FATIMA

choreographer

DEBORAH FEINGOLD

photographer

MICHAEL J. FOX

actor

BILL FRIST, M.D.

U.S. senator from Tennessee

ANN FUDGE

executive vice president, Kraft Foods Inc.

KEVIN GARNETT

basketball player

SAVION GLOVER

dancer choreographer

BRYANT GUMBEL

anchor, The Early Show

GREG GUMBEL

sportscaster, CBS

DICK GUTTMAN

public relations executive

HAROLD HAIRSTON

Philadelphia fire commissioner

SCOTT HAMILTON

figure skater

HARRY HAMLIN

actor

MIA HAMM

soccer player

JACK HANNA

director emeritus, Columbus Zoo

DONNA HANOVER

actress/TV journalist

MELISSA JOAN HART

actress

ANTHONY STEWART HEAD

actor

CARL HIAASEN

author

CATHERINE HICKS

actress

ANITA HILL

law professor

GRANT HILL

basketball player

GREGORY HINES

actor/dancer

TERRY HOBEN

paramedic coordinator

WARRINGTON HUDLIN

filmmaker

KATHY IRELAND

model/designer

DR. O. WAYNE ISOM

cardiothoracic surgeon

JUDITH JAMISON

choreographer

LANDON Y. JONES JR.

editor emeritus, PEOPLE

MARION JONES

track and field athlete

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE

track and field athlete

DARYN KAGAN

news anchor, CNN

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.

law professor

JEFFREY KRAMER

TV/film producer

LENNY KRAYZELBURG

swimmer

GEORGE LANGE

photographer

GERALD M. LEVIN

chairman and CEO, Time Warner Inc.

ANANDA LEWIS

veejay, MTV

REBECCA LOBO

basketball player

LISA LOEB

musician

KENNY LOGGINS

musician

CAMRYN MANHEIM

actress

MARLEE MATLIN

actress

NORA McANIFF

president, PEOPLE

TERRY MCMILLAN

author

DANNY MEYER

restaurateur

MICHAEL MICHELE

actress

ANDY MILL

skier

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL

actor

MATTHEW MODINE

actor

DINEH MOHAJER

founder, Hard Candy cosmetics

DEBORAH NORVILLE

anchor, Inside Edition

PAT O’BRIEN

anchor, Access Hollywood

SOLEDAD O’BRIEN

anchor. Weekend Today

DICK PARSONS

president, Time Warner Inc.

BOB PITTMAN

president and COO, AOL Inc.

GEN. COLIN L. POWELL

former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

AUDREY PUENTE

TV meteorologist

ANNA QUINDLEN

author

RICK REILLY

columnist, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

LISA RINNA

actress

DAVID ROCKWELL

architect/designer

GEORGE RODRIGUE

artist

CARI ROSS

public relations executive

NANCI RYDER

public relations executive

EDUARDO SANCHEZ

filmmaker

CRISTINA SARALEGUI

TV personality

BARRY C. SCHECK

attorney

RICK SCHRODER

actor

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

actor

JUDGE JUDY SHEINDLIN

TV personality

HENRY SIMMONS

actor

RUSSELL SIMMONS

chairman, Rush Communications

JANE SMITH

science teacher

KEELY SHAYE SMITH

TV journalist

WENDY SMITH

public relations executive

DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN

medical correspondent, ABC News

GENE SPERLING

director. National Economic Council

LINDA SRERE

president, Y&R Advertising

JOHN STARKS

basketball player

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS

political analyst, ABC News

MARTHA STEWART

entrepreneur

HANNAH STORM

sportscaster, NBC

DAVE THOMAS

founder, Wendy’s

JOHN TIMONEY

Philadelphia police commissioner

MIKE UTLEY

former football player

JESSE VENTURA

governor of Minnesota

THOMAS VON ESSEN

New York City fire commissioner

TED WAITT

founder, Gateway Inc.

CAROL WALLACE

managing editor, PEOPLE

DR. ANDREW WEIL

author

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN

governor of New Jersey

TERRIE WILLIAMS

public relations executive

STAN WINSTON

special effects artist

BILLE WOODRUFF

music video director

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