Every year, USBE Online brings a message from a Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) winner that spreads the spirit of Thanksgiving. Here is the 2017 letter from Linda Gooden, 2006 Black Engineer of the Year. 

Dear Friends:

As we begin the holiday season, it is natural to spend some time reflecting on all of our blessings and to contemplate the future of our nation, our society, and our race. Like many of you, I am concerned with the trends I observe, and I am searching for ways to contribute to a brighter future for our youth —ways we can work collectively to ensure the next generation of leaders and innovators have access to the same or better opportunities than we enjoyed.

Most of us didn’t achieve life’s blessings or our personal success without the help of others. This sentiment was stated most eloquently by Thurgood Marshall — None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.

Career Communications and BEYA Conference are an excellent set of bootstraps for our youth. Each year BEYA showcases positive role models for our youth and in doing so, BEYA underscores the value of education in achieving career success. Each year BEYA provides professional mentoring opportunities for our youth. And, each year BEYA provides access to major corporations—corporations that may provide future job opportunities for our youth

BEYA cannot do these things without our help in terms of our time, mentorship, and donations.

As you enjoy the holidays with family and friends, I am asking you to click on this link and consider joining me in making a donation to the BEYA Foundation to support the youth travelling to the 32nd Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Many college students will only benefit from the experiences BEYA provides if you will help to get them there.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Linda Gooden

Linda Gooden worked for 40 years in the aerospace and defense industry. She retired as Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) business area and an officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Under her leadership, IS&GS included 40,000 people who provided integrated information technology solutions, systems and services to support worldwide missions for civil, defense, intelligence and other government customers. Ms. Gooden actively supports professional, academic and civic organizations, serving on numerous executive boards including TechAmerica. She has received several nationally-recognized awards and is 2006 Black Engineer of the Year. 

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