Very rarely do I post about anything that isn't quilting related, but I just had to share with you my very uplifting lunch.
A few months ago, a friend of mine, Nancy Rosenberg (proprietor of the recently closed Quilt Cottage in Mamaroneck) suggested I become a mentor for an organization call HerHonor Mentoring. A program started by Nicole Sheindlin and her stepmother, Honorable Judy Sheindlin, aka Judge Judy. HerHonor Mentoring is a program designed to expose young women from at risk environments, who have managed to make the right decisions in life, to professional women in the fields they plan on pursuing in college. The mentor/mentee meet for 4 hours a week in a professional setting, allowing the mentee to see what the professional experience is all about. HerHonor also pays the mentee at the end of the school year for the hours she spent as an apprentice in her mentors workplace, thereby providing money as the girls head off to college. The programs partners (Merrill Lynch, Bloomingdales, etc...) host workshops for the mentees during the year on topics such as financial planning, dressing for success and business meal etiquette. Today's luncheon was the kick-off to the year where we were introduced to our mentees and other mentors.
Well, all I can say, is I was blown away. First, my mentee is a HS Senior of Mexican decent, who is the middle child in a family of 5 girls. She is ranked #9 in her senior class of over 300 students. She is a straight "A" student, who while going to school, also works so that she can help her parents as they figure out how to pay for a third daughter entering college in as many years. She attends a technical HS, where she is majoring in computer circuitry and design, so besides the normal state HS academic requirements, she has an extra 2 periods a day to complete courses in her major. At the end of last year, she passed the Cisco Networking certification exam, so she is certified in network support. Oh yeah, all this and she just turned 17. I can not wait to start meeting with her on a weekly basis! Yes there is hope for today's youth!! (Yes Raven and Robert... my children.... are doing well also, but you must admit, that is what is expected of them.)
Of course, as I tell my children, I told my mentee, use every opportunity as a chance to network. So that is also what I did today, getting to know the other mentors. Our careers range from software sales, like myself, to doctors, lawyers, judges, entrepreneurs, marketing, financial planners, councilwomen and on and on. Yes, we even had a farmer amongst us whose mentee is interested in green agriculture. What a dynamic group of women! Of course I traded business cards, but it was just a great feeling to see a group of 40 diverse professional women come together to help the next generation.
Wow, I feel good!