July 21, 1998 12:00 AM

Good deeds and famous names — such as Russell Simmons, Deborah Norville, Cristian de la Fuente of “Family Law” and Emme of E!’s “Fashion Emergency” — came together in New York on Wednesday morning to promote the Digital Heroes campaign, a new mentoring program that will pair 100 youngsters from low-income households with a famous mentor, who will communicate with his or her mentee via e-mail. The campaign is a group effort by PEOPLE magazine, America Online, The National Mentoring Partnership, PowerUP and the Waitt Family Foundation. Attendee Gregory Hines knows first-hand the important role played by a mentor. He told PEOPLE: “One of the people who inspired me most was Mr. Mosley, one of my teachers in high school. We have an e-mail relationship, and he continues to teach me.” NBC News’ Soledad O’Brien, who’s just a few weeks away from giving birth, said she jumped at the chance to get involved. “There are a lot of people who want to be mentors, but don’t feel they have the time.” O’Brien even promises to make time when it’s time to have her baby. “When I go into the hospital,” she says, “I’m taking my NBC computer and my Gateway. I’ll be working and communicating with my mentee.”

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