When Her Honor Mentoring was founded over ten years ago, we couldn’t have known the impact it would have. Over the years, we’ve seen mentees (and mentors!) create change in themselves, and, through those changes, seen the ripples spread amidst their families and throughout their communities. We’ve seen the ways in which mentees lift each other up — older sisters and cousins encouraging their younger peers to apply, inviting them into a community that had deep impact on their own lives.
Gloria Urritia is one such mentee. “My cousin was in the program last year and really enjoyed her time with her mentor,” Gloria writes, “I wanted the same experience.”
No stranger to mentorship, Gloria has normally been in the reverse role. She serves as president of The Amigos Club at Mamaroneck High School. Through the club, high schoolers provide mentorship and tutoring to elementary school students from Mamaroneck Avenue School. In hearing about the Her Honor program, Gloria wanted the opportunity to learn from “strong women in my community.”
Kemberly and Jirandy Martinez are two such women. Jirandy serves as the Executive at the Community Resource Center of Mamaroneck (CRC) and Kemberly is a Personal Banker at the Wells Fargo Mamaroneck branch. Kemberly is also a proud member of Her Honor’s first pilot program at Mamaroneck High School. While their fields might be quite different, the two share a few important things in common:
- They both fully understand the importance of mentorship; and...
- They’re sisters!
Jirandy and Kemberly can help each of us learn the importance of lifting each other up. During her own high school experience, Kemberly participated as a mentee in the Her Honor Program. One important lesson she learned: “Make connections for others. Keep your eyes and ears open to what people are saying or looking for.”
Kemberly has truly put this lesson into practice, “I’ve introduced Gloria to the entire banking team and each member has been able to spend time with her to discuss their roles, how she can shadow and learn from them and to get to know her passions.” But isn’t the only time Kemberly served as a connector. Many years ago, she introduced Jirandy to a staff member at the Community Resource Center. This introduction led to a volunteer position that turned into a paid job, and, eventually, Jirandy became Executive Director of CRC.
Through this unique Her Honor Mentoring match, Gloria is spending time with both Jirandy and Kemberly, gaining experience in different fields and understanding multiple leadership styles. “At Wells Fargo, I have learned so much about banking and that I wouldn't have learned if I didn't do this program,” writes Gloria, “But also at the Community Center I love that I am able to help people through the language I speak and giving support to my neighbors.”
But Gloria is not only gaining new skills, she’s also feeling more confident in herself, “Working alongside these encouraging women who work hard everyday,” she says, “it helps me build confidence in myself and follow my dreams.”
The importance of this isn’t lost on her mentors. “To have the opportunity and access to a mentor can make a significant impact on a young person's life,” says Jirandy, “The right mentor in high school, in college, and even in one's professional life can help shape self-confidence and even important life decisions. I know this from my own experience.”
As Gloria looks to the future, she hopes to apply her new skills and confidence to a career in the medical field, specifically neuroscience. She hopes to combine her passion for caring for people with her love of science and the brain. “Although I haven't explored my science side through this program,” she writes, “I feel so appreciate to know that there are other ways to help.”
What these stories make clear is that Her Honor is creating a legacy of strong women mentorship throughout the county. As we look beyond year ten, towards Her Honor in years fifteen, twenty and thirty, we feel confident that our roots will grow deeper and our network will grow stronger, allowing more and more young women to find the guidance, support, and confidence they deserve.
In their own words...
Three words you use to describe yourself?
Gloria: Intelligent, kind, responsible
Jirandy: Gritty, humble, passionate
Kemberly: Protective, tenacious, daring