It was my pleasure to represent all of you at the BPWFL Annual State Conference at the Clearwater Beach Marriott June 14-17, 2018. It is stimulating to bond with strong, powerful women residing throughout the state of Florida.

One of the highlights was the presentation of the Glass Ceiling Award to Brigadier General Carrie Nero. She is the first African-American nurse in the Army Reserves to achieve this honor. Carrie, which is how she wanted to be addressed, received her nursing education after graduating from high school. She had always wanted to be in the military, but was told by her father that girls do not go into the military. She met a U.S. Army recruiter while working at a hospital as a surgical nurse and enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant.

She has received a bachelor’s degree in counseling and behavioral health, a master’s degree in nursing and a doctorate in higher education. She retired after 30 years in the U.S. Army in 2006 and continues to work with veterans in the Tampa area.

At our Scholarship Awards Ceremony on June 19, 2018, it was an honor to present scholarships to 2 lovely young women who are also carving out their futures in non-traditional careers for women and encouraging other young women in their classes and homes. These are truly exciting times for women and gratifying to be a part of assisting deserving young women attain their goals of continuing their education, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with scholarships from our Local Organization of Business and Professional Women of Englewood and Venice.

Syd Gibson

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