Carrie E. Taft, from the Bronx, New York, entered basic training in the Marine Corps at Paris Island, South Carolina, in November 1979. She received training in Maryland at Aberdeen Proving Ground Infantry Weapons Repair, quickly learning to excel in this military occupational skill.
Jenny Rivera was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to New York City in the late 1960s. She took up residence in the Lower East Side, which exposed her to rich cultural and social diversity, as well as injustices of the City. She and her family moved back to Puerto Rico, where she attended Jose Campeche Public School and Santa Juanita IX Middle School, before moving back to the United States and settling in the South Bronx.
Ms. Rivera attended South Bronx High School and the Secondary Education through Health-(SETH) program at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where she was further exposed to and decided to continue her interest in social justice. She attended John Jay College and then was admitted to Rutgers University School of Social Work, completing her educational career with honors.
Cedric V. Smith joined the United States Army in November, 1986. He proudly served in active duty until 1989 and then in the United States Army Reserves from 1990 until 1995. His rank at the time of his Honorable Discharge was E4/ Communications Specialist, and he is the recipient of a Good Conduct Medal. Currently, Mr. Smith is employed at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, New York. He works in the Social Services Department as the Resource Coordinator in Veterans Services for the Single Stop Veterans Initiative Program, which services veterans and their families.
Meghan Izzo Russo, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, WellCare Health Plans, has more than 15 years of progressively responsible experience leading sales organizations. She is a recognized sales leader, valued for developing the strategic vision necessary to achieve business goals and brand recognition in the marketplace. Ms. Russo off ers a unique blend of executive acumen, team building, and sales solutions development credited with strong ROI and operational improvement.
At just 17 years old in October of 1960, Sergeant Luis Lorenzo enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. On November 23, 1960, Sergeant Lorenzo was sent to Parris Island, S.C. for 12 weeks of basic training and moved on to 2nd Marine Division Camp in Lejeune, North Carolina for advanced Infantry training.After completing his training, Sergeant Lorenzo was sent to Sea School Ship Indoctrination in Portsmouth, VA, where he was trained in various types of weapons and hand to hand combat. After this indoctrination, he reported aboard the carrier USS Randolph CVA 15 Norfolk, VA and was assigned to the Marine Detachment at its Naval Base.
Julissa Juarbe has compiled several noteworthy accomplishments that make her more than worthy to be honored as a Woman of Distinction.
A native of Puerto Rico, Ms. Juarbe was one of three children born to Rafaela and Rafael Romero. She moved to the United States with her parents at the age of eight. Upon arrival, she and her family became a part of the fabric of the community of Boro Park in Brooklyn, where she began her elementary studies in the New York City Public School system.
At an early age, Ms. Juarbe understood the importance of community and public service. While in high school, Ms. Juarbe was an active volunteer; she worked with seniors as a recreational coordinator, which ignited her passion for community work.
Leroy Richard Archible, born in Memphis, Tennessee in July, 1931, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950. He served in Korea from 1951-1953 and was discharged in 1960 as a Sergeant. His awards include the Korea Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, the National Defense Service Medal, a Korean President Unit Citation, a United Nations Service Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars.
Roselyn A. Johnson has been an employee of the Bronx Supreme Court for the past 16 years, serving as confidential secretary to three administrative judges. Recently, she was elevated to administrative aide and feels great fulfillment in her current position. Prior to her employment in the court system, Ms. Johnson was employed by the New York City Board of Education in Community School District Twelve for 23 years as an executive secretary to the Community Superintendent of Schools.
Beverly Roberts is President of the NAACP Parkchester Branch and a Gold Life member of the NAACP. Ms. Roberts has a long and impressive career in which she held the position of 1st Vice President, Chair of the Civic Engagement Committee, Chair of Women in the NAACP, as well as consultant to Special Projects.