An estimated 200 minority male students filled a Franklin Institute theater yesterday to hear a wide range of mentors talk about how they rose to successful careers in business, sports and entertainment.
The “man to man conversation” spurred on by President Obama’s call for mentorship was moderated by NFL analyst James Brown. Panelists, who fielded questions from students, included the head of Nike’s Air Jordan brand, a Grammy nominated producer, a scientist and Andre Iguodala of the Sixers.
Born, raised and educated in North Philadelphia, Derrick Brooks said the key to rising from a position where he handed out T-shirts and hats at Sixers game to successful sports agent was seeking out a mentor. His happened to be Pat Croce, then president of the team.
“You don’t have to be in the game to have an effect on the game,” he said. “Pat Croce taught me it’s not about who you know, it’s who knows you.”