Let me tell you about an amazing program in Westchester County that is helping the most promising of our underserved young women. Called Her Honor Mentoring, it was started by a Mamaroneck woman, Nicole Sheindlin with the support of her stepmother, Judge Judith Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy.
Rising high school seniors are recommended by school personnel for selection to this special one year program. This year, Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, Yonkers and White Plains high schools have sent 40 young women to participate. The cornerstone of this program is the match-up of each student with a woman in the community whose career is related to the teen's interests. Here is a photo of Mariame Samuda from Mount Vernon high school (on right) whose dream it is to one day "help (patients) with neurological disorders." She is accompanied by her new mentor, Dr Jennifer Canter who is the medical director of the Children's Advocacy Center at Westchester County Medical Center.
In addition to working several hours a week alongside their mentor, the mentees are taught life skills such as appropriate business attire, financial planning, public speaking, personal health and wellness, dining etiquette, and negotiation and advocacy skills.
Other mentors include bakery owners, lawyers, the CEO of Gilda's Club, city council members, the director of the New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club, a pet groomer, the manager of public relations at Bloomingdale's, a chocolatier, and many others from the worlds of politics, not-for-profits, the professions, and business.
In just three years, Her Honor has managed an impressive track record of promoting huge growth and confidence in these young women. They are living proof of what Judge Judy told them at the opening day luncheon: "You can be the hero of your own story."