Keynote – Women Helping Girls With Choices Conference
Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES today is hosting a series of workshops wherein female students from 11 area school districts are hearing from and working with women who work in a variety of professions.
The keynote speaker for the “Women Helping Girls With Choices” was Jessica DuLong, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed merchant marine officer who is the engineer aboard the John J. Harvey fireboat on the Hudson River.
“My path was definitely not a straight line,” the Massachusetts native said. “But I made small choices that took me to this point.”
DuLong, who is also a freelance writer with a new book about her maritime experiences, told a morning assembly that she was the dorky, smart girl in school who found her way to a hands-on yet technically oriented career despite not always getting the right message about what a girl’s true potential is.
“What we always heard, and I think we still hear it today, is that some jobs are for boys and some jobs are for girls,” DuLong said, “and that is not true.”
The 108 girls who attended the day’s sessions gave oral presentations, book reports and met with local role models in fields from law and banking to theater and the culinary arts.
Past speakers include news anchor Roz Abrams and educator Jaimie Cloud.