Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Betty Perkins-Carpenter, Ph.D. has spent a lifetime helping others better themselves. Her experience in the United States Air Force has been a driving force behind decades of service to her country and her community that followed, both in and out of uniform.
Thanks to her Uncle Oscar, Commander of the Navy Blimps at the Pentagon, who signed for her against her parents’ wishes, Ms. Perkins-Carpenter enlisted in the Air Force, where she excelled in diving for the aquatic team and established physical activity programs for the children of Air Force-based personnel. She completed her service in the Air Force in 1950 as a Sergeant.
Upon returning to Rochester, Ms. Perkins-Carpenter continued teaching swimming and diving at the YMCA and in 1959, she started the Perkins Swim Club, where thousands of people learned to swim and compete in aquatic sports. Ms. Perkins-Carpenter went on to coach swimming and diving at the University of Rochester and for both the Men’s and Women’s Diving Teams at the 1976 Olympic Games.
Ms. Perkins-Carpenter has developed a fitness approach from cradle-tograve in an effort to help people of all ages and abilities achieve their fullest physical potential. She launched the “Fit-by-Five” franchise, and founded Child Fitness Productions and Senior Fitness Productions. On top of her many career successes, she is a published author, and has been featured in many top national publications.
Through it all, Ms. Perkins-Carpenter never lost touch with her military roots, offering her service to the Veterans Memorial & Executive Council, the Veterans Wellness Advisory Board, One Team - One Fight, The Monroe County Veterans Advisory Committee, and the Korean War Veterans of Rochester. She also teamed with Kodak Alaris and local reporter Tiana Stephens to help identify and connect photos of United States troops serving in the Korean War to their families. Ms. Perkins-Carpenter truly lives by one of her most known sayings: “Keep moving…do what you can, as much as you can.”