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Women empower future leaders through Women’s History Month panel

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aubree Milks
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs

As a way to celebrate Women’s History Month, Vandenberg Air Force Base held a Women’s Empowerment Panel on March 14, 2019, featuring installation members and local community leaders as guest speakers. Approximately 60 members from the community and base attended the panel, led by Chief Master Sgt. Diena Mosely, 30th Space Wing command chief.

Women’s History Month, celebrated in March, is an annual, national recognition of women across the world, and their accomplishments. This year, Vandenberg AFB’s theme was Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-Violence, highlighting and celebrating the contributions that women have made throughout history and recognizing those who have made efforts to end war and violence, promoting peace.

Four women were chosen to be on this year’s panel due to their strong leadership roles, both on Vandenberg AFB and in the local community. During the event, each panelist shared personal experiences and information that got them to where they are today.

“I’m proud to say these women were selectively chosen from many in our community,” said Vanneca Phelps, 30th Space Wing Equal Opportunity director. “These women have knocked down any gender equality barriers and are leading the way for the up and coming generation of women.”

During the panel, Mosely asked each speaker specific questions to provide members with insight to their professions, their personal goals and ambitions, their role models and what is to come for them.

“The person I am today, and my ability to serve the role of a commander is greatly due to the role models I’ve had as well as my brothers and sisters in arms throughout my journey,” said Col. Merna Hsu, 381st Training Group commander. “I’ve had amazing exemplary men and women who have influenced the woman I have become.”

Throughout the panel, many attendees asked to gain insight on how the panel members succeeded through their upbringings and what they would change about their past, such as what Jenelle Osborne, Lompoc Mayor, would change or tell her younger self, if given the chance.

“There isn’t much I would do different,” Osborne said. “But if I told 18 year-old me one thing, it would be to continue to be brave, because learning that is a life long journey and the sooner you believe in yourself the braver you become.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, these four women on the panel, sat in front of a crowd and shared knowledge they have learned over the years as they have progressed to their current leadership positions.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have a spot on this panel, next to these strong women in leadership positions,” Hsu said. “It is an honor to share my stories and successes for such a great movement.”