Naples nonprofit celebrates female first responders, educates young women

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

Young women in Collier County had the opportunity to learn what it’s like to serve, protect and help their community in a time of need.

Naples nonprofit League of Courageous Women held its Special Operation: Female First Responders event at Collier County Sheriff’s Office training division Saturday to celebrate women who serve our communities.

“It’s very important,” said Corporal Angela Ison with CCSO. “We need to. There’s so much talent out there that these young women need to see and have leaders and have someone to look up to.”

The league, in partnership with the sheriff’s office, has designed the program to develop young leaders, giving middle school and high school girls a chance to test their talents with a role model who serves their community. Some of the experiences include climbing into an ambulance, dusting for fingerprints and boarding a deputy’s boat.

“Made me feel like I really want to help our state or country when I grow up,” sixth-grader Abigail Augustine said.

The league is planning a summit for young women in Southwest Florida to attend.

The league said it’s also important to learn communication and leadership skills outside of more of the physical work that goes into duties of first responders.

“I’m the only female chief in the county,” said Tabitha Butcher, chief of Collier County EMS. “So a lot of times, I’m the only female in the room, and that’s OK too.”

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