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United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.

Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Synethia White.

Image Courtesy of Synethia White

Affiliation(s) (past and present): Past: Director Office of Youth and Young Adult Opportunities (Youth Violence Prevention Program Manager), City of Hampton

First full time Executive Director, Y.H. Thomas Community Center, Inc.

Activities Director Newport News Juvenile Services

Prevention Specialist VCU Center for School Community Collaboration.

Present: Director of Strategic Initiatives for Cities United

Currently volunteering as Y.H. Thomas Community Center Board Secretary and member of several committees. Former Cheerleading Commissioner Y.H. Thomas Athletic Association.

Member National Black Child Development -Hampton Roads, Virginia Peninsula Food Bank Nutrition Education Advisory Board, Hampton Roads Conference of Minority Public Administrators-President Elect. Member Hampton High School, Health, Human Services and Finances Academy Advisory Board.

How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?

16 years. After college I began my career as a Recreation Professional at Old Hampton Community Center. That employment opportunity made me realize that I wanted to support youth development and community engagement to improve outcomes for young people.

How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?

All of my life. I was born in Newport News, raised on Cary’s Chapel Rd. in Tabb, attended Old Dominion University and now reside in Hampton.

What advice would you give young women going into your field?

Take advantage of all learning opportunities. You expand your knowledge and understanding by pushing yourself and exposing yourself to new opportunities.

Has parenthood impacted your career or shaped your perspective as a professional? In what ways?

Becoming a mother has made me use my time more intentionally. I want to be present in each setting to make sure I am giving my best self at work, at home and while volunteering in the community.

What has been your greatest challenge and what have you learned from it?

Understanding that people who have the same concerns often have ideas about ways to get to consensus in action.

Any closing thoughts?

Always work for the cause and not the boss; the right boss will appreciate that and the people you are helping will too-Nick Booker, Y.H. Thomas Legend

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