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In Greek mythology, Mentor was the son of Alcumus and, in his old age, a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he placed Mentor in charge of his son, Telemachus and his palace. When Athena visited Telemachus, she took the disguise of Mentor to hide herself from Telemachus' mother's suitors.

Odyssey II, 255; 267.

This is the source of the modern use of the word mentor: a trusted friend, counselor or teacher. Some professions have "mentoring programs" in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people in order to obtain good examples and advice as they advance.

Several places in the United States of America have been named Mentor: