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Thursday, March 05 2020

Photo: Wikipedia.

Winter Haven - Meet Maryly VanLeer Peck, PH.D. Mrs. Peck was a lifelong advocate for women in science. She organized most of the student chapters of the society of Women Engineers in Florida and was the first woman chosen to head a Florida Community College as president. She endowed scholarships for women at Polk State College who went on to study engineering at the University of Florida.

As the first woman to receive an advanced degree at the state university in 1955, she went on to work on rocket fuel development. That brought her to the attention of Life Magazine in 1962 as one of the 100 “most important young people in America.”

Peck was a long-time member and Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers. She was also featured in Life Magazine, was named Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida in 1991, and received numerous recognitions and awards for her work in the advancement and awareness of engineering as a profession for women.

In 2006, she was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame for her notable contributions in academia. Peck passed away in 2011.

This information first appeared in


Photo: Florida Women's Hall of Fame.

Lakeland - Meet Carol Jenkins Barnett. Ms. Jenkins Barnett is the daughter of Publix supermarket founder George Jenkins and an heir to the Florida-based fortune. She has worked her entire life to make a difference for all of Florida’s children, giving thousands of children a better opportunity to fulfill their potential. Her generous gifts of time, talent and treasure continue to impact the lives of countless Floridians. Mrs. Barnett has served as president of Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. since 1991, and as a member of the board of directors of Publix Super Markets, since 1983. She has served as vice-chair of the Florida Council of Economic Education, co-chair of the Florida TaxWatch Center for Educational Performance, and as an executive board member of the Florida Council on Economic Education. In 1997, she became a founding board member of the Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland. In 1998, Mrs. Barnett initiated the “Feed Me a Story” children’s reading initiative and in 1999, she was appointed vice-chair of the Florida Partnership for School Readiness Board. After 33 years on the Publix board, she stepped down in June 2016 following a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

This information first appeared in the Florida Women's Hall of Fame website.


Photo: Wikipedia.

Haines City - Meet Amber Denise "Sevyn" Streeter. Amber is an American singer and songwriter, best known for being a member of the girl groups TG4 and RichGirl where she was known as Se7en. She signed to Atlantic Records and released her debut single "I Like It" in 2012. Her debut extended play Call Me Crazy, But... was released on December 3, 2013. It sold over 17,000 copies within its first week and spawning her first top 40 hit single "It Won't Stop", and "Next". The single achieved gold certification from RIAA marking it as her biggest selling single to date. In 2015, her first extended play (EP) Shoulda Been There, Pt. 1 was released. The extended play was preceded by two singles "Don't Kill the Fun" and "Shoulda Been There." Her debut studio album Girl Disrupted was released on July 7, 2017. The album has been preceded by the release of five singles "Prolly", "My Love for You", "D4L", "Before I Do" and "Fallen." She has written songs for artists such as Chris Brown, K. Michelle, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Ariana Grande, Trey Songz, Alicia Keys, Fantasia, Brandy, and Tamar Braxton. Streeter was born on July 7, 1986, in Haines City to Tim and Karen Streeter. She grew up singing in church and talent shows; by the time she was 5, Streeter already knew she wanted to sing for a living. At the age of 10, she competed on Showtime at the Apollo and tied for first place by singing "My Funny Valentine."

This information first appeared in

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