A glimpse into the lives of '40 Under Forty' winners

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Fri., Aug. 9, 2013
Contributed
Brandon Frame holds the book he authored, titled 'Define Yourself, Redefine the World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men.' Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Every year the “Hartford Business Journal” recognizes young professionals in the Greater Hartford area who not only excel in their careers and leadership roles, but act as role models for their peers. This year, two East Windsor residents made the “40 Under Forty” list.

Brandon Frame and Michael Mascaro were both nominated by colleagues because of their influence in the business world. Coincidentally, they also share a passion for youth development. While Frame's full-time job at High School Inc. - a four-year college preparatory school – incorporates that passion every day, Mascaro's position at Comcast also allows him to work with youth.

“We have a mentoring program that's a partnership with 'Big Brother Big Sister,'” said Mascaro, director of advanced services. “We have the kids come here [to the Berlin location] and we do on-site mentoring right in the building.” For Mascaro, becoming a “Big Brother” and later a member of the Nutmeg “Big Brothers Big Sisters” Board of Directors was important to him, because growing up he was a “Little Brother.” In fact, after 30 years, he maintains a close relationship with his mentor, Timothy Ruark. Mascaro said he still considers Ruark a member of his family.

“You can never measure the relationship him and I had,” said Mascaro. “You can never put a value on it either.” Mascaro described the impact of mentoring using an analogy of a launched space shuttle. He said everyone knows it turns, but you can't tell because it happens slowly and over a long period of time. “It's the same thing when you are being mentored,” he said.

As the director of business partnerships and development, Frame had a similar outlook on the effects of positive adult role models. He said as an educator, you can never tell where your influence stops. Frame believes that is the best part of his job: knowing something he says to 14-year-olds now could impact them through adulthood.

However, Frame did not always dream of working in the education field. When he entered college, Frame planned to get a business degree and climb the corporate ladder. While he did receive a B.S. in business administration, he realized after a few “desk job” internships that instead of helping companies grow, he wanted to develop youth.

His true passion became clear during his work at the Charles R. Drew Charter School in Atlanta, where he created a mentoring program. As director of the Role Model, Scholar, Gentleman (RSG) MENtoring program, Frame developed a curriculum to educate, equip and empower young boys, and also implemented the program's goals and objectives.

“Through creating that program, I understood this is really what I am supposed to do with my life,” said Frame. “This is the impact I am supposed to have.”

Outside of work, Frame promotes positive images of black men and boys through his website, www.theblackmancan.org. He is also a principal partner in Final Frame, a line of men's neckwear, and the author of “Define Yourself, Redefine the World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men.”

The awards ceremony honoring "40 Under Forty" winners will be held on Sept. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.


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