FWA Mentoring Programs Enable Future Generations to Be Successful

FWA Mentoring Committee Co-Chair Françoise Jeanpierre and Mentor & FWA Past President 2001-02, Betsy Werley

This Spring, mentors working with both Murry Bergtraum and Baruch College students came together to celebrate the positive steps they have assisted mentees in making related to not only seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after researching potential higher education facilities and filling out college applications, but also social cues such as the ways in which to speak in a professional environment.

For nearly thirty years, the Financial Women’s Association has formed deep roots with Murry Bergtraum high school to power a successful one-one-one mentoring program which allows adolescents to be exposed to an ultra-high caliber of women that devote their time to this cause. Mentor Sue Waiter has been with the bustling program for two years. After leaving the financial services space, Sue became aware that you don’t necessarily need to be working on Wall Street to form meaningful relationships. Always on the hunt for mentoring opportunities, she was delighted to work with students who were applying for colleges as someone who had already gone through this process, acting as a supplement to the support they’re receiving from their school.

She said, “I went to college and even though I wasn’t the first in my family to do that, I quickly realized that it was ok to change your path in life if you start in the wrong place and wanted to pass that notion on.”

It’s easy to see why this group that is getting ready to take the next step in their education appreciate that extra voice and varied perspective offered by people of different backgrounds.

FWA Mentors Patricia Lucey and Salma Abdulla

Salma Abdulla, FWA Mentor, is also involved in the Murry Bergtraum program and has been for three years now. She revealed that her experience has been “just so rewarding” and she worked closely with a former mentee for two years consecutively.

Ms. Abdulla added that when she first met this mentee, she was very shy and had low confidence. She had no clue how to get through the college application process, her parents were divorced and her mother didn’t speak English. “The mentoring program provides that much needed support to its participants. It was great to get to know her, help her break out of her shell and was wonderful to know that I had an impact,” according to Abdulla.

The mentors and mentees don’t always meet in person; they also speak through e-mail and on the phone because these active girls have jam packed schedules similar to their mentors.


FWA Mentors: Ora Shtull, Patricia Lucey, Salma Abdulla, Mentoring Committee Co-chair Beth Dorfman, Sue Waiter, Natalia Kolbun, Tina M. Vizzini, Christine Li-Auyeung and Marilyn Thypin

In addition, the FWA’s Mentoring Program at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College is in its twelfth full year. Christine Li-Auyeung got involved after working at Baruch in a separate training program.

“It gives mentees a leg up because as a student, I didn’t have any mentoring. A lot of these students are first generation American, don’t have any business connections or even know how to get into the professional world. We give them this much needed guidance and allow them to hear about our firsthand experiences,” she added.

Both of these mentoring programs are an invaluable resource, giving them an amazing opportunity to not only learn from seasoned women and role models in the business world but walk away truly understanding the politics of business as well.

For more information about the FWA’s mentoring programs, click here.