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RCC’s Phenomenal Women Event “Shatters Glass Ceilings”

“The easiest way to shatter a glass ceiling is to operate like it doesn’t exist.”

That was the message that Lumbee Warriors Indigenous Emissaries Rene White and Carla Locklear hoped to get across to those attending the ‘Phenomenal Women’s’ event held at Robeson Community College on Monday.

Glass ceilings they acknowledged existed in the past, and that it was there to hinder a woman from reaching a higher place, creating a barrier to the future.

“Breaking barriers is a mentality, a mindset,” stated White. “Why should we accept the fact that we are limited by someone, we are successful because we do not recognize the limits that someone else has set.”

Both women should know.

They have both ‘shattered the glass ceiling’ becoming very accomplished, well-educated, and achieving greatness in many ways. Both served in the United States Air Force, and although they have now since retired, both are still serving their community and their country.

The two, aunt and niece, spoke of several accomplishments they have made in their lives.

“I was able to live in Hawaii for three years and work,” White said.

“I was in charge of close to a million-dollar operating budget,” stated Locklear.

“I led a team at the Pentagon to help create an Air Force monopoly game,” White said.

“I trained border patrol agents to become medics and emergency medical technicians,” Locklear said.

As they continued to list the ways that they had made a difference, many in the audience were amazed by how much they had achieved.

“It was amazing to hear all that they had done with their life,” said one person attending the event. “I was like, ‘wow’ that’s really cool.”

Another person attending said, “These women didn’t let anyone tell them ‘no,’ they set their goals and moved forward with the expectations of receiving everything they put their minds to.”

“I found it to be very inspiring, and made me think that I could do that too, that one day I could be making major decisions like that, operating large operating budgets and doing great things,” said another individual. “We limit ourselves so much, but this has opened up so many possibilities.”

The two women also gave some great advice to those attending the event.

“I often struggle with getting a compliment,” stated White. “But our saying ‘thank you’ is like a gift to the person who says the compliment.”

“Be able to receive accolades, always stay positive because others are watching,” Locklear stated. “You are worthy of those moments of praise; you have inherent value and worth.”

“Be present,” White said. “Being present is when you can fully engage without any interruptions.”

“When life gets hard, I challenge myself… I push boundaries,” Locklear said. “I am brave when I ask for help.”

“Sometimes things happen for a reason for a season,” White said.

“Sometimes I may have to save my own life, I can’t wait to be rescued,” Locklear said.

“There’s a sparkle inside of each of you,” said White. 

The two women challenged others to set goals and to reach outside their comfort zones to achieve their full potential.

“Everything that they said was so thought-provoking,” one of the attendees said. “It made me think that you know, life is all about the choices we make and the things we tell ourselves.”

This was part of the reason for Monday’s event, to motivate women and celebrate Women’s History Month.

“When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment,” said Sherry Lofton, the organizer of the event.

“Today, we were able to celebrate the achievements of two amazing women who have broken many glass ceilings, paving the way for all women,” Lofton said. “I can’t think of two other women more deserving to honor. They both have represented our nation well, both here and on foreign soil.”

RCC President Singler agreed.

“This has been a wonderful event,” Singler said. “It has been an honor to have these two phenomenal women, the Lumbee Warriors Indigenous Emissaries Rene White and Carla Locklear on our campus to speak to our students, faculty, and staff. Their message was very uplifting and I hope it has helped encourage those attending to strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives.”

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