Women in Defense, Central Florida Chapter hosted their annual scholarship breakfast on April 27, 2017 to present two female students with $1,000 scholarships.  Both awardees demonstrated exceptional talent, ambition, and goals for their future in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field.

WID-CFL also had the honor of hosting UCF Woman’s Basketball Coach, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, “Coach Abe” as the guest speaker for the event.  Coach Abe spoke about the importance of self confidence, empowering other women, supporting growth, personal strength (physical and mental) and putting in the work to achieve our goals.  She often tells the young ladies on her team, “Be a girl with a mind, a lady with an attitude and a woman with class”.

The two scholarship recipients were awarded scholarships at the breakfast are L’oreal Valencia Smith and Angela Yvonne Robinson.

L’oreal Valencia Smith is a senior at Stranahan High School, a magnet school in Ft Lauderdale, FL. She got accepted into USF and wants to come to Central Florida to study Computer Science. She currently holds a 4.7 GPA and is dual enrolled at Broward College & the University of Florida (and was previously dual enrolled at Florida Atlantic University). She is involved in Kappa Mu Alpha, a STEM based organization at her high school that she helped establish. L’Oreal enlisted in the Army Reserves and is hoping to gain a technical skill or certification that will help her in her chosen career field (such as Network Analysis or Information Technology).  L’Oreal has aspirations of working in the Defense Industry, specifically interested in contractors such as CSC or General Dynamics, or being hired into a government agency.

Angela Yvonne Robinson is a PhD Candidate in Mathematics at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, FL. She has a 3.42 GPA and is completing her dissertation in the fall of 2017 on Post-Quantum Cryptography. Angela has been a graduate assistant since 2012, was an intern at the Naval Warfare Center in Virginia during the summer of 2016, and has been an undergraduate mentor. She is the current President of the FAU Association for Women in Mathematics student chapter and helped establish the organization. She has presented a poster on facial authentication and published a paper along with a faculty advisor on biometric cryptographic schemes. Upon completion of her doctorate, she plans to work in the cyber security field for the Department of Defense and continue to do research on post-quantum cryptography.

Congratulations on your achievements ladies and we look forward to seeing great things from you in the future!