The best mentoring advice Ed Norton ever received was “don’t chase money,” he said last night within earshot of Third Point’s Dan Loeb, T2 Partners’ Whitney Tilson and Blue Ridge Capital’s John Griffin.
Norton was the lone celebrity in a room full of hedge-fund managers at the iMentor Benefit Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental.
The stories of the student-and-mentor pairs created by iMentor led the evening. Griffin who co-founded iMentor, served as master of ceremonies.
Oladoyin Oladeru, a graduate student at Yale’s School of Public Health, appeared with his former mentor, Alphonso Diaz, a financial adviser, whom he met when he was a junior in high school in the South Bronx.
Kevin Wade, a freshman at Medgar Evers College, was with his mentor, Adam Jacobs, who works in wealth management at Morgan Stanley. Wade received the first Caroline Kim Oh Scholarship, giving him $2,000 for college.
On SAT day, Jacobs arrived at Wade’s home early in the morning to take him to breakfast and drop him off at the test site in a good frame of mind.
“So much of succeeding at life is relationship building,” Jacobs said.
“I learned to be dedicated and motivated,” Wade said.
Bart Rosenthal, a natural-gas trader at Hess Energy Trading Co LLC, mentored Kevin Hidalgo, starting in his junior year at KIPP NYC College Prep. Two years later, Rosenthal took a day off from work, rented a minivan and drove Hidalgo and his parents to Philadelphia to help him get settled at Wharton.
Sense of Humor
“I thought it would be 99 percent academic, but it was much more than that,” Hidalgo said. “We found we have a lot of things in common including our sense of humor. We’re both sarcastic.”
“We’re optimistically sarcastic,” Rosenthal said. “Kevin has re-instilled a lot of optimism in me.”
Mark Bezos, a senior vice president at Robin Hood Foundation, and half-brother of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, is a board member of iMentor.
“We work with schools, so every child in a school gets a mentor and the mentoring is built into the school day,” Bezos said. “It changes the ratio of kids to college counselors.”
Bezos brought his mom and dad to the event. “We’re still mentoring them,” Mike Bezos joked of his kids.
The event raised almost $2 million and drew 400 guests, said Mike O’Brien, chief executive officer of iMentor.
Cesar Beltre and David Ortega, students at Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were featured artists at NURTUREart’s benefit last night, having worked with a curator brought to their school by the Bushwick-based nonprofit.
Beltre said his piece depicted a mystical creature who processes bad things while always looking forward, while Ortega said his work celebrated his Mexican culture.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Scott Reyburn on the art market, Greg Evans on television and Stephanie Green’s D.C. Scene.