‘Women can do anything:’ Jacksonville teens get to meet the faces behind naval ships and helicopter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Naval Station Mayport hosted a special women’s empowerment summit for the first time on Thursday, inviting young girls across Duval County.

“This is very inspiring, like I didn’t know that all these women could do this,” Chloe Henderson said. She’s a 10th grader at Ribault High School.


Henderson was one of 66 freshman and sophomore students chosen for the Inaugural Young Women’s Leadership Summit.

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During the event, students met with Naval Station Mayport women, and visited the Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) squadron 50 and experienced a warship simulator at Integrated Navigation Seamanship.

”It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a helicopter pilot in the Navy, but just to see that there are opportunities and the sky is the limit,” Sharon Kasica said. As the school liaison for Naval Station Mayport, she organized the summit.

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The goal wasn’t exactly to recruit future officers, but to show young girls that they can do whatever they work towards.

”It inspires me, like I can do anything,” Henderson said. “I can do it. Like I can become what I want. So, if I want to be in the Army, I can. I can be a leader.”

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