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The Community Service Award presented at the BEYA Gala recognizes outstanding efforts to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and professional development through community service. This year, three women engineers received the award at the 2022 BEYA Gala.

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For more than sixteen years, Stacia M. Graham has represented The Boeing Company at STEM events and helped high school students through their college applications. Stacia is currently a program manager for the F-15 U.S. Air Force Sustainment Avionics program at Boeing.

“This is a full-circle moment for me,” Stacia said in her acceptance speech. ” As a college student at Tennessee State University, I attended this conference many years ago. So, standing here today, I’m truly honored. The summer before beginning my freshman year at Tennessee State University, my parents encouraged me to participate in a pre-engineering program. That summer set the course and led me to where I am today. I always had my family’s support but seeing people who looked like me striving for excellence and leaving an impact in our community confirmed I was exactly where I belonged. I challenge you never to stop striving, but not just for yourself. Lean into the power of representation, the immense impact of service, and the faith that you are exactly where you belong.”

Jaynelle Pemberton, a licensed professional engineer at the Jacobs Engineering Group, also won in the same category. She has worked at Jacobs for over 19 years and is highly regarded as a role model and mentor. Originally from the U. S. Virgin Islands, Jaynelle said she chose engineering as a career to help solve infrastructure problems impacting the island.

“I was surrounded by loving parents, aunts, and uncles,” she said. ” Although no one studied engineering, these were my role models. My mother, a schoolteacher, would feed the homeless every year in the market with her students. My dad didn’t go to college, but he was a whiz at math. What we do with our time and talent to help the next generation is so important.”

During her career at Northrop Grumman, Veldesta B. Evans, manager of systems engineering, has supported various programs sponsored by the defense department, state department, and homeland security. Her passion for science fairs and working with local women is also evident around the company and in the community.

“I came from humble beginnings,” Veldesta said. “I was determined to have it better, which is my motivation for helping others. I had an analytical mind that I put to good use at an insurance company as the only person willing to try out a new computer system. This led me to teach the East Coast offices how to operate and process the software packages. Later, I tackled how software packages talk to each other. My logical thought process has rewarded me with a great career and this honor.”

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