Who mentored the candidates for governor?


With the Massachusetts general election occurring Tuesday, Nov. 4, we at Mass Mentoring wanted to make sure that the next leader of our state knows how mentoring and empowering relationships for youth can strengthen communities. To that end, we reached out to each of the candidates for Governor and asked them to give their thoughts on mentoring. We've posted the responses we received below.

Regardless of who wins, we will continue our work of educating our public officials on the power of youth-adult relationships to change lives and strengthen communities. Click here to find your election information and don’t forget to vote on Tuesday!

Charlie Baker (R)

Charlie vertical headshot

Why do you believe mentoring is important?
The 20 years I spent as a Big to my Little guiding him through school, later college and masters programs, and serving as the best man at his wedding is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life. They perform better than almost any other kind of program when it comes to trying to help young people find their way in the world. Mentors actually bend the trajectory of the lives of the people that they touch, results that show up over and over in studies. These programs have a profoundly significant impact on the mentors themselves. When talking about them, people always mention the impact they have on the kids, but I’d like more of us to remember the incredibly life-changing effects they have for the mentors as well. It was a pleasure to serve on the board of the Boston Big Brothers & Big Sisters and an honor to co-host their annual gala in 2013.

Who are some of your mentors and what impact did those individuals have on your life?
Working under Governors Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci helped affirm my belief that state government can be better and positively impact the lives of people who need it the most. I am proud to have worked with my mentor Governor Weld as secretary of Health and Human Services to get every homeless family out of motels, into stable living conditions, and back on their feet to rebuild their lives. Governor Paul Cellucci imparted to me that despite political or ideological differences, everyone can find common ground and come together to solve big problems. His compassion and guidance will always stay with me. Learn more about Charlie Baker here!

Martha Coakley (D)

AG Coakley Headshot

Why do you believe mentoring is important?
I believe that having a strong, positive mentor can have an enormous impact on anyone’s life, especially that of a young person. Good mentors can be both role models and support systems, helping another person set goals and then empowering them to reach the goals they set for themselves. Throughout my campaign, I have talked about the importance of early intervention and investment, from violence prevention to education to mental health care. Too much of the time we are reacting, and spending more money, rather than investing in basic principles like mentorship, which could help keep young people in school, out of jail, and help them realize their full potential. And the benefits of mentorship don’t stop with young people, adults can benefit from having strong mentors throughout their lives, and mentoring someone else can be an incredible rewarding, empowering experience. Mentorship is a powerful tool, one that should be utilized more as part of our effort to help people realize their full potential and expand opportunity for everyone in Massachusetts.

Who are some of your mentors and what impact did those individuals have on your life?
When I was a member of the first fully co-ed class to attend Williams College, Nancy McIntire was the first female Dean of the college. Nancy was a role model and mentor for me and many other women at Williams as we worked to overcome the challenges that still faced women, both on a college campus and throughout society. She helped me cement my commitment to fighting for equality, fairness, and opportunity, and she and I have remained good friends. Learn more about Martha Coakley here!

Evan Falchuk (I)

Evan Falchuk

Why do you believe mentoring is important?
A good mentor helps you avoid the mistakes they’ve made in their lives. Which of course means that whatever mistakes you make in your life are all yours – either you didn’t listen to your mentor’s advice, or you discovered a new way to fall short of your expectations. This is really the larger point about mentorship. A good mentor is someone who helps you see yourself, who helps you learn who you *are*. A good mentor helps you like and respect yourself, to find joy and gratitude in every aspect of your life, and is there to listen to you in times of difficulty. Having a mentor – or being one – is a gift, and a blessing, and always changes your life for the better.

Who are some of your mentors and what impact did those individuals have on your life?
The most important mentor I’ve had is a man named George Kaye, who passed away earlier this year. I miss him very much and find myself thinking “what would George say?” when I run into a challenge. I met George through an executive leadership and mentoring group called Vistage that I have been a member of for almost a decade. George had a way of kindly, but firmly, telling you when you were missing the core, underlying problem. He would always want to know about the things in my life that were making me happy, and encouraged me to make sure more of my life was filled with those things. Learn more about Evan Falchuk here!

Jeff McCormick (I)

Jeff McCormick

Why do you believe mentoring is important?
I believe that mentoring –the enhancement of one person by the positive behaviors and attention of another — is the very foundation of growth. Mentoring programs, like The Mass Mentoring Partnership, are particularly important for young people who may not have had this relationship in their lives. Personally, my life has been significantly shaped by my mentors – from my parents and siblings, to my teachers, coaches and advisers. I want every child, regardless of their family dynamics, to have this same necessary ingredient. Fortunately, mentoring relationships are mutually beneficial which makes the Mentoring Partnership such a win-win.

Who are some of your mentors and what impact did those individuals have on your life?
I have been fortunate to have had several formal and informal mentors in my life. My high school football, basketball, baseball and lacrosse coaches were constantly teaching me lessons having less to do with sports and more to do with life. Hard work, resiliency, teamwork, fair play, and yes even grace (often under pressure) were some of the lessons. I had many public school teachers who took a special interest in me and helped keep me on the right path to being a strong student. I was fortunate that through lacrosse I met many Native American leaders, including the Faith keeper of the Iroquois Nation, Oren Lyons – who taught me about history and their environmental philosophies. I have had a few key mentors in business who helped me think through the early stages of the company I founded, Saturn Partners, as well helping me with various issues that arose as we built companies in areas like software, energy and education. I feel extremely blessed by some of the guidance I have received throughout my life, but I feel equally blessed by the friendships that have been fostered from these relationships. Learn more about Jeff McCormick here!

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