Women share inspirational stories during leadership event

  • Published
  • By Jessica Casserly
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Hanscom personnel and officials from the City of Boston gathered at the Hanscom Chapel annex here March 30 to participate in a Women in Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

The event, hosted by Chaplain (Maj.) Kimberly Hall, installation chaplain, was held as part of Hanscom’s Women’s History Month activities and focused on the theme of “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

“I think that we all have good stories to share,” Hall said. “When we share our stories, both the struggles and the joys, that helps to sow seeds, to build us up. Especially as women in leadership, we have extra layers that are added on to us in so many different ways.”

The formal program included an opening prayer, singing, an opportunity for attendees to share personal stories, and remarks from featured speaker, Latashia White, the Transition Integration advocate for the City of Boston’s Veteran Services and an Air Force retiree.

“To be back at Hanscom means a lot because I served here a long time ago,” White said. “When I started in the military, I realized that I was shy, I was quiet, and I felt out of place. When I got to Hanscom and came to the 753rd Electronic Systems Group, it gave me an opportunity to become the leader that I felt I needed to be. I met some great individuals and I learned how to challenge myself as a person.”

Col. Taona Enriquez, the installation commander, said White’s story of determination, grit and perseverance really stood out to her.

“You were comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Enriquez said. “General Brown [Chief of Staff of the Air Force] has spoken with us before about how we learn the most when we’re uncomfortable and that’s what you proved.” 

During the personal story-sharing portion of the program, attendees spoke about their leadership journeys and the valuable lessons and advice they have gleaned along the way.

Anna Morris, the director of Contracting at Hanscom, talked about some of the challenges she faced during college and the powerful advice her mother gave her, which has carried her through her professional and personal life.

“You’re going to meet people who won’t like you for whatever reason, how you look, how you sound, how you talk, it doesn’t matter. You know who you are, know that you’re worthy, know that you belong in the space that you’re in, and let your performance speak for you,” Morris said. “Pay the doubters no mind.”

White said the message she hopes attendees take away from the event is to be their “authentic selves.”

“Know that times are going to be hard, but if you’re authentic, if you’re there for those that are around you, those that are your tribe, you can do anything and anything is possible,” she said.