• Judge Judy Speaks at High School Graduation in Ohio

    By: Marina Weis

    Updated:

    With careers as a lawyer, prosecutor and host of the longest running court shows on television, Judge Judy Sheindlin’s success story is one of a kind.

    Each year she travels across the country, sharing what she’s learned at one lucky high school’s commencement ceremony. 

    Her appearance is the prize for the winner of the “Ultimate High School Graduation” essay contest. 

    This year she chose an essay by Nicholas Ratay from Barberton High School in Ohio. See & Be Seen made the trip to Akron University on Friday to hear her speak.

    She took the podium, and in many ways the auditorium felt like her courtroom TV show "Judge Judy" on WPXI. With an air of regality, she delivered concise advice, sprinkled with humor.

    Because she started her TV career later in life at the age of 52, Judge Judy said her messages can resonate with most ages in attendance.

    “The adventure's never over,” she said before her speech. “You’re only limited by your imagination and your drive to do something else.”

    She spoke about the importance of first impressions, procrastination, staying organized, avoiding using “filler” words and having a firm handshake.

    But her most important message was about being open to new people and ideas.

    “Your decisions help to mold your future,” she said in her speech. “Listen to all sides. Weigh the pros and cons. Look at your options. Be guided only by what’s right. Be guided by what makes you a better person. Only fools are guided by fools."

    But why does she do it, why make the trip from her home in Los Angeles?

    “That’s a really good question,” she said. “It’s part of a give back if I”m being honest with you and not blowing smoke…You have to give back and this is really a good place for me.”

    Next Up: