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

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 33rd 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

Ms. Gooden actively supports professional, academic and civic organizations, serving on numerous boards including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. She has received several nationally-recognized awards and is 2006 Black Engineer of the Year.


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