Matilda Cuomo and Mayor Cory Booker on Their Mentors

Monday, January 16, 2012

Matilda Raffa Cuomo discusses the updated and expanded edition of her book, The Person Who Changed My Life: Prominent People Recall Their Mentors. She’s joined by Newark mayor Cory Booker, who is featured in the book, and who talks about the people that made a difference in his life. The book includes stories by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joe Torre, Rosie O’Donnell, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Nora Ephron, General Colin Powell, and many others.

Is there a person who has been a mentor to you and has changed your life? Let us know!


Cory Booker and Matilda Raffa Cuomo

Comments [8]

Susan from Morningside Hts.

Thank you for including my two previous comments about learning disabilities on-air. Just to connect a few more dots -- Ms. Cuomo said that dyslexic children are tested in school and get help. Not so! It may well have been true when she was teaching, but it certainly isn't done by the schools in NYC now. Later on, she said "the schools in New York City are a mess." One of the chief reasons is because those four out of ten struggling readers I cited earlier (half of whom are dyslexic) are not being helped!

Thank you,
Susan Crawford, Director
The Right to Read Project

Jan. 16 2012 02:26 PM
David Caney from East side York City

I was a mentor to adopted Dominican born , child with learning disability and and other syndromes.

I was with him for sixteen years in Hartford Ct., i found this challenging but rewarding.

I suggest that if mentoring was popular or socially hip for the average moral, working adult male, regardless of race, we could reduce crime, teen pregnancy, and high school drop out rate dramatically.

I was privileged to have been raised by a highly moral, and hard working father from the "greatest Generation". We had our struggles with money and a mother who died young,but my seven siblings and I worship, the morality and dignity of how Dad lived his life.

Children of all races and income brackets need an adult who can live as an example, and teach them that, regardless of circumstances, we can be happy by working hard and living morally.


Jan. 16 2012 02:20 PM
BJK from Queens, NYC

Two books come to mind that shed more light on the line between success and failure, and the skills needed to achieve the former.

Alfred Lubrano's 'Limbo: Blue Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams', and the more recent 'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell.

Lubrano talks about 'social capital', the family, friends and contacts that are so vitally important in breaking into and learning to negotiate the white-collar working world, and the innumerable obstacles that children from blue-collar families are not even aware of, that stand in the way of their smooth transition into this environment.

I heard one of the callers talk about being invited to the home of her mentor, and what a profound impact that must have had on this person, to simply see how other people relate to and live with each other.

Having at least one caring adult who is empathic, supportive and willing to spend a few hours a week with a struggling young person is of incalculabe value, as Mrs. Cuomo mentioned.

If I could sum up in one sentence what I wish I had done more of, it would simply be: 'never be too self-conscious or ashamed to ASK an adult for help'.

What is the exact quotation, 'for want of asking, an empire was lost?'

Jan. 16 2012 02:14 PM
Maggie from nj

OK--found the link to Mentoring USA Thank you for this show.

Jan. 16 2012 02:00 PM
Carl from New Jersey

My daughter has worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters for 6 years. How is this diferent from the program being discussed here?

Jan. 16 2012 01:59 PM
maggie from nj

I'd love to be a mentor. PLEASE tell us HOW.I had a Girl Scout troop leader who changed everything for several of us. But I'm 62--pretty sure I don't qualify as a Big Sister.

Jan. 16 2012 01:57 PM
Patricia from NYC

My eighth grade drama teacher saved my life. I was living in a very dysfunctional family situation and seriously contemplated suicide. My teacher Mrs Kellams saw that I was at risk and created a safe place for me. She gave me extra time and included me in extra curricular activities.She validated my worth and gave me hope. I am proud to say that I am still in touch with her forty years later. She continues to mentor youth and change lives. I would not have survived without her.

Jan. 16 2012 01:41 PM
Susan from Morningside Hts.

Please tell Mayor Booker -- speaking further of dyslexia and learning disabilities -- that we have so many struggling students in our schools because four out of ten have trouble learning to read, and two out of ten are dyslexic. These students may need mentors, but they also need specialized reading interventions to help them.

Susan Crawford, Director
The Right to Read Projecct

Jan. 16 2012 01:36 PM

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