Last Friday, September 26, 2014 the National Women Law Students’ Organization had their SMP (Student Mentorship Program) Kickoff Event. Close to 50 mentors and mentees joined at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, with anticipation to meet their “W” Partner. The activity started with a message from the president, Jeannette Ortiz Ortiz: “We are incredibly grateful for the Dean’s support and our mentor’s enthusiasm to see the chapter grow. We are also excited to see the great energy our SMP has created and we only hope it will inspire other women to join the organization and be part of a network that seeks to celebrate women’s achievements.”
Carmen Cortés Ramos, the organization’s academic mentor, talked about the importance of professional development, her collaboration with the organization and the importance of taking advantage of all the tools that the School provides, in order to help members achieve their professional goals. Saritza Rivera Vega, the Event Coordinator, continued with the presentation of the video: The Autocomplete Truth, part of an advertising campaign created by UN Women, an arm of the U.N. that focuses on issues that affect women. After the video, Saritza concluded: “…and that’s one of the reasons our chapter was born, because we want to create more of those women who made history and empowered other women to do the same.”
Angelee Ortiz Ortiz, the Marketing Director, delivered a very appropriate speech to explain why the organization chose the theme Meet Your Woman Partner instead of Meet Your Sister. “We have chosen friendship to define the relationship of support that arises between women. Compared to the sisterhood model, recognized by some feminists, friendship between women acknowledges the diversity between them. The word “woman”, instead of “sister”, presumes a broader idea of equality between both sexes, since it establishes women’s capacity to develop in public and professional spaces, which goes far beyond intimate relationships and accepts women engaging in an array of activities that go outside a familiar setting”, concluded Angie.
After presenting the Board of Directors Members, Dalmarie Martínez Castro, the host and Vice-President, continued to explain the rules for a guessing game to all participants. The purpose of the game was to match each mentor with her/his mentee in a fun and creative way. It went like this: each mentee had a piece of paper with at least three characteristics that described their mentor. One by one they had to come to the stage and read those characteristics out loud. As soon as a mentor heard a characteristic that described them, they had to stand up. However, those standing up, had to make sure that all the characteristics matched, otherwise they had to seat down. The last mentor standing was the mentee’s “W” Partner. The guessing game turned out to be a great experience filled with laughs, hugs, and lots of excitement.
An interesting part of the evening was meeting Urselio Álvarez, our first male member of the organization. He also got to meet his “W” Partner, Gabriela Medina. The rest of the members gave him a warm welcome, demonstrating that women don’t need to be exclusive in order to feel empowered. The National Women Law Students’ Organization (Puerto Rico Chapter) takes pride in being one of the few chapters in Ms. JD to include men. A great start to a wonderful year ahead.
You can see the pictures of the event by clicking HERE.