I am writing a speech about people having people in their lives who are catalysts for them to propel them to something positive in their lives. These people enable others to be something better than they had been before.
Unfortunately, I cannot use the word "enabler" to describe those persons with one word, because the word "enabler" is defined as someone who enables drug abuse in someone else.
Does anyone know of a better word for enabler?
And, what gave the word "enabler" such a negative connotation in first place, especially since the verb generally is positive?