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Mentoring is not simply a nice, good-feeling kind of gesture, but really a social obligation and a moral obligation. It is to pass on to young people necessary skills and understandings, and to learn from them in a dialectical relationship because education is a social process.

~ David Brotherton

Mentoring informationThe word, mentor, is first mentioned in Homer’s poem, The Odyssey. This poem provides an account of events that occur when King Ulysses leaves his family and fights in the Trojan War. Ulysses leaves Mentor in charge of his household and family, including Telemachus. However, as Roberts (n.d.) and others note in their discussion of the tale, it is actually the Greek goddess Athena who serves as Telemachus’ mentor in the sense of a trusted advisor, friend, teacher, and wise person we associate with a mentor today when she guides Telemachus to stand up to his mother’s suitors and search for his father when she visits him in Mentor’s form.

Image: Telemachus and Mentor, from