By MCC Nathan Wilkes
U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen held a Women's History Month kickoff celebration in Laboon Hall Mar. 2.
The event, hosted by the Naval Academy's Joy Bright Hancock Organization (JBHO), gave a unique opportunity for midshipmen and officers on the Yard to learn about prominent female role models throughout history. More than 100 midshipmen attended the event, which highlighted the beginning of many events scheduled for Women's History Month.
"Today is the kickoff for Women's History Month and we are honored to have so many midshipmen and officers here today to help us begin the celebration," said Lt. Stephen McCartney, USNA Assistant Chief Diversity Officer. "This event is a great way to begin the month and introduce everyone to this year's theme."
The theme for this year's Women's History Month is "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives."
During the presentation, speakers shared the stories of influential women throughout history including: Kady Brownell, Hedy Lamarr, Capt. Winifred Quick Collins, Stephanie Kwolek, and Rear Adm. Katherine Gregory. Midshipmen and officers also shared a few of their own personal experiences while attending the academy and in the Fleet.
"I think that this was a great way to kick off the month," said Midshipman 4th Class David Perez. "It's important that midshipmen take advantage of the vast wealth of experience that is offered here at the Academy and use it to become better leaders.
For this year's Women's History Month, JBHO plans to work on building camaraderie between the female officers on the Yard and female midshipman as well as discuss the future of women's role in the military.
"It was an awesome experience," said Midshipman 2nd Class Nicole Fasolino. "I learned a lot from the presentation and I hope that other midshipmen are able to attend the events that we have scheduled for this month and take away important lessons that they can carry into their daily lives as leaders.
The Joy Bright Hancock Organization began as the only women's organization at the U. S. Naval Academy. Although their mission has adapted over time, it continues to bring female midshipmen together to discuss and address issues related to balancing personal and career choices.