Here’s news release from Westchester County about Judge Judith Sheindlin’s mentoring program:
It was another great year for those participating in the Her Honor Mentoring program – and the group will come together on May 17 to celebrate.
This program is funded by Judge Judith Sheindlin, presiding judge of the nationally syndicated television show “Judge Judy”. Developed by Judge Sheindlin’s daughter, Nicole Sheindlin, the program is administered by the county’s Office for Women and the Mental Health Association of Westchester.
A lunch that celebrates the graduation of the current class of mentees will be hosted by Judge Judy on Friday, May 17, at 11:30 a.m. at the Larchmont Shore Club, One Oak Bluff Ave., Larchmont.
This year’s class of mentees includes young women from high schools including Mamaroneck, White Plains, Mount Vernon, Nellie Thornton in Mount Vernon, Saunders Trade and Tech in Yonkers as well as Gorton High School in Yonkers. Mentees worked directly with their mentors, local professional women, who provided hands-on work experience, advice and guidance about succeeding in the workplace.
County Executive Robert P. Astorino praised the program, saying, “I saw first-hand how great this program is, as we had a mentee work in the county’s Communications Office this year. Through this program, young women get real on-the-job training. Programs such as this inspire, and the county’s Office for Women is pleased to continue to provide support for Judge Judy’s initiative.”
Commented Judge Sheindlin, “I like to think that this program gives each of our mentees an opportunity, that extra edge before beginning college, so that they can dream big and achieve bigger.”
Diane Balistreri, senior manager of the Office for Women, said: “Each year this program provides mentees the opportunity to learn invaluable lessons about work, finances and leadership. Sometimes they develop long-term relationships with their mentors, which is incredibly special. I wish every young man and woman had the benefit of a mentoring program.”
Mentees have been working weekly with their mentors since last October, gaining work experience and valuable lessons in female leadership. Work experience was supplemented with monthly workshops on such things as budgeting money, business attire, honesty and integrity, well being, dining etiquette, social responsibility and advocacy. Life skills workshops were underwritten by Merrill Lynch, Bloomingdales, MasterCard, Dr. Ann Engelland, the Ritz Carlton, Judith Re, College of Westchester and Pace University School of Law.
MENTEES AND MENTORS OF HER HONOR – CLASS OF 2012-2013
Mamaroneck High School
Solyris Aquino – Solyris describes herself as helpful, kind and hardworking. She is dedicated to her education and looks forward to being a professional woman.
Mary Polanco Vozza – Attorney, Vozza Law Office
Maria Barto – Maria is inspired by her mother’s strong will and determination. She dreams of finding a therapeutic profession that reassures girls “they are not alone”.
Nancy White – President/Owner, The Flower Bar
Deidra Daughma – Deidra is extremely proud of her Caribbean heritage. She credits her family for her dedicated work ethic and discipline.
Daphne Swinton – Child Welfare Manager III, Child Welfare Program, Policy and Training Academy, Westchester County Department of Social Services
Darlene Fernandez – Darlene is open minded and loves to learn new things. She knows the importance of being organized, punctual and patient.
Maria Valente – Owner/Chocolatier, Chocolations
Kimberly Flores – Kimberly looks forward to a career in business. She enjoys working with people and cultivating relationships.
Maria Garzona – Co-Owner, Sweet Teez Candy Shoppe
Ceydy Maldonado – Ceydy is excited to be the first person in her family to attend college. She hopes to pursue a career in social work.
Zoe Colon – Executive Director, Hispanic Resource Center
Melissa McEvoy – Melissa has been participating in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. Community service has taught Melissa how to be a leader, advocate and mentor.
Nivia Viera – Founder/Publisher, Kids X-Press
Alexa Ojeda – Alexa is passionate about learning. Her favorite classes are English and US history.
Lynne Crowley – Archivist, Larchmont Historical Society
Layla Perez -Layla’s Guatemalan and Mexican background serve her well in understanding different cultures. She is proud to be the first college bound person in her family.
Patricia Valenti – Principal, Newmark Knight Frank
Mount Vernon High School
Brianna Allen – Brianna finds solace in art. It has always been easier for Brianna to express her feelings through art rather than words.
Kathleen Reckling – Gallery Director, ArtsWestchester
Sammanter Beckford – Sammanter is interested in criminal justice and plans on studying at John Jay College.
Honorable Delores Brathwaite – Town Justice, Town of Greenburgh
Hadia Edwards – Hadia is a member of the National Honor Society, Model UN and Ladies of Distinction. She looks forward to a career in law.
Honorable Kathie E. Davidson – Supervising Judge of Family Courts, Ninth Judicial District, Westchester County Family Court
Anne-Marcelle Ngabriano – Anne-Marcelle was born in Bujumbura, Burundi. She has a deep appreciation for culture, languages and individuality.
Connie Frawley – Business Leader, Franchise Development, MasterCard Worldwide
Jada Smith – Jada is determined to change the course of society. She knows by empowering children and strengthening their community, her goal will be accomplished.
Nancy Levin – Director of Development & External Affairs, My Sister’s Place
Ahjanae Sumter – Ahjanae is a self starter. This past summer she studied entrepreneurship; creating a business plan and presenting to investors.
Anne Janiak – Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Enterprise Development Center Inc.
Thorton High School
Mayra Alvarez – Mayra came to the US at 9 years old. In less than one year, she became fluent in English and was near the top of her class.
Martha Anderson – Spanish Speaking Program Specialist, Westchester County Office for Women
Da’Naysia James – Da’Naysia knows that hard work and determination will be required to reach her goal of becoming a physician.
Dr. Cheryl Archbald – Deputy Commissioner, Division of Community Health, Westchester County Department of Health
Saunders High School
Alijah Acosta – Education is the highest priority in Alijah’s family. Her dream is to study law and become an attorney.
Gretchen Mullins-Kim – Attorney, Gretchen Mullins-Kim, P.C.
Eunice Adarquah – Eunice has always been interested in math and it’s different dynamics. She faces challenges by applying creativity and her keen analytical skills.
Jennifer Solomon – Chief Financial Officer, Greyston Foundation
Sindy Rojas Castelan – Sindy describes herself as a fashionista and hopes to attend FIT.
Noel D’Allacco – Executive Director, Operation PROM
Nadia Chevalier – Nadia is committed to being a hard worker and knows she can step up to any challenge.
Honorable Janet C. Malone – Westchester Family Court Judge, Yonkers Family Court
Melissa De Los Santos – Melissa plans on pursuing a career in the Sciences. Her favorite community service activity is Habitat for Humanity.
Luz Moreno Casanova – Coordinator, Community Garden Project, Greyston Foundation
Reneissance Francis – From the age of seven, Reneissance has been motivated to become a lawyer. She is focused on human rights and social justice.
Mary Grace Ferone – Managing Attorney, Yonkers Office, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
Nina Hernandez – Nina is the youngest of eight children and will be the first person in her family to attend college.
Christie Verschoor – HR Specialist, Stew Leonard’s, Yonkers
Nicole Montes – Nicole considers many ideas for future careers. She is interested in art, music, travel and helping people.
Ellen Story – Director of Management Development, Stew Leonard’s, Yonkers
Nadine Rosas – Nadine’s Assistant Principal describes her as a “model student who is not afraid to take the most challenging road”.
Wendy Nadel – Executive Director, Yonkers Partners In Education
Daniqua Smith – Daniqua wants to find a career where people look up to her. She is passionate, serious about school and a dedicated leader.
Carol Bengis – Constituent Affairs Liaison/Office Manager, City Council President of Yonkers
Gorton High School
Anita Asheley – Anita is a proud member of the National Honor Society. Her personal philosophy is about standing out, rather than fitting in.
Shelley Mayer – Assemblywoman, District 93, Yonkers
Kierra Hearne – Kierra plans to study fashion merchandising and management. She is described by her peers as a natural leader.
Antoinette Klatzky – Program Director, Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute
White Plains High School
DiAnna Brice – Dianna is a first generation American of Haitian descent. She looks forward to a career that uses her creativity and makes the world a better place.
Susan Liddie – Vice President of Information Technology, Avon Products, Inc.
Melissa Cabrero – Melissa is determined to break stereotypes. She leads by example and is proud of her individuality.
Jirandy Martinez – Programs Coordinator, Hispanic Resource Center
Stefanny Cardona – Stefanny came to America from Colombia at 13 years old. Her parents and grandparents always encourage Stefanny to work hard and keep studying.
Leslie Blanco-Ishoo – KeyCenter Manager, KeyBank
Leslie Gallardo – Leslie is described by her school counselor as motivated and focused. Her counselor envisions Leslie’s future as a leader and innovator.
Jordan Christensen – Hudson Valley Program Coordinator, Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE)
Karina Hernandez – Karina is dedicated to helping in her community. She spends weekends tutoring elementary school children.
Maria Diaz – Owner, Eye Level Learning Center
Anika Joseph – Anika is inspired by her mother’s perseverance to overcome adversity. She considers herself a compassionate leader.
Rosa Boone – Deputy Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Social Services
Linda Martinez – Linda enjoys helping people solve their problems. She dreams of becoming a psychiatrist.
Nancy Krzemienski, MBA – Senior Vice-President, Mental Health Association of Westchester
Yama Ishnary Oge – Yama is interested in how laws shape society. She is confident that a strong work ethic will serve her well in pursuing a legal degree.
Robi Schlaff – Director, Westchester Family Justice Center
Isabel Pareja – Isabel is intrigued by public relations and personal branding. She is comfortable talking to anyone and enjoys public speaking.
Donna Greene – Deputy Communications Director, Westchester County
Alejandra Zepeda – Alejandra is extremely proud of her Mexican heritage. She looks forward to a career in law fighting for justice.
Jane Aoyama-Martin – Executive Director, Pace Women’s Justice Center