My mother raised me to give back to my community and be a strong woman, able to support myself. She was a single mother, starting 1969, raising myself and my 3 younger brothers on a Secretary’s salary. We still volunteered for the first Earth Day, Girl Scouts, Choir and any other events we wanted to do. She taught me to find something I liked to do that I could earn a good living doing…that was my drafting.
My other big influence was my Professor Mr. Baran, who taught “Strength of Materials”. He was a WWII veteran and loved to tell us war stories in class. He taught me so much more than what was in the books. He taught me (not trying to sound sexist here) that we women were entering a “man’s field” and needed to be tough, we needed to work a little harder to earn respect, we needed to stand up for ourselves and do our work WELL and not let men walk on us! He was tough on us but I learned how to deal with someone being tough on me and how to handle it and it’s helped me all the way through my career. It was hard when I was going through it…but I have thanked him over and over! He encouraged me to go into a job in shipbuilding, which led to me applying for a job at a Naval Shipyard. I have him to thank for my government career!