Nicole Sheindlin, founder and executive director of Her Honor Mentoring, discussed the organization at a League of Women Voters luncheon on April 12.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Nicole Sheindlin, founder and executive director of Her Honor Mentoring, discussed the organization at a League of Women Voters luncheon on April 12. Having partnered with the Westchester County Office for Women six years ago, Nicole and her stepmother Judith Sheindlin, better known as “Judge Judy,” developed the program to empower young women in the workplace. Her Honor Mentoring affirms that high school students and professional women are the perfect match.
“It has been a gift for me to pair wonderful, inspirational young women with equally inspirational and wonderful professional women,” said Sheindlin, whose program combines the power of youth with the wisdom of experience.
The seed for the program was planted when her stepmother came into her life. While her own mother was a traditional housewife, Judith came in like gangbusters with a vastly different approach. She advised Nicole to become an independent woman with a gratifying career. As the Supervising Judge at Manhattan’s Family Court, Judge Judy certainly talked the talk and walked the walk. Having a Bronx Supreme Court Justice for a dad further ignited Nicole’s passion for the law.
“Growing up, we would debate public policy during dinner conversations. I got used to that speak, tempo, and tone of living,” recalled Sheindlin, who became a public defender in the Bronx’s Legal Aid Society. “I loved fighting for the underdog.”
She still does.
Recognizing the importance of powerful role models, Sheindlin provides a platform for young women who exhibit leadership potential, maturity, and financial need. Applicants are nominated by faculty members in participating high schools: Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Saunders, Thornton, and Gorton.
Those selected are matched with a mentor who can provide work experience that fosters the student’s career interests. Sheindlin noted that the program’s mentors have the “right heart and spirit,” as well as the time. After all, they are providing their mentees with their first experience in the professional realm.
“Mentees work side by side with dynamic women. They gain insight into what it means to be a leader,” she said.
Additionally, life skills workshops are an integral part of the program. Interactive sessions, covering financial planning, business attire, dining etiquette, and social responsibility, are designed to benefit the girls’ professional and personal lives. For more information, workshop volunteers and potential mentors may log on to www.herhonor.org.