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Pioneering Guam women honored

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Several women pioneers were honored at this morning's Women First Award Ceremony, just in time for Women's History Month. It was a room brimming with women who have helped changed the course of history at the 2015 ceremony. The event, hosted by the Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce, Soroptomist Sigma Society and Soroptomist International of the Marianas, celebrated women pioneers who have paved the way in their respective fields.

Chamber president Lou Leon Guerrero said, "And one of our missions is to continuously find ways to lift up the status of women in Guam, and that's why we started this program which is the first women of Guam and believe me since we started it we have just uncovered many, many, many talented women who have been first in their industries."

The women honored Tuesday afternoon include Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, Esther Kia'aina, Carmen Dela Cruz, Herminia Dierking, Leona Flores, Flora Baza Quan, Genevieve Snow, Clotilde Gould, Rindraty Limtiaco, and Maria Roberto. Luisa Wesley spoke on behalf of Flores, saying, "She would be just in awe as I am to be in a room full of such accomplished women who have contributed so much to the growth and community of Guam. I commend you all."

The accomplishments of these women include first woman attorney general, assistant secretary at the US Department of Insular Affairs, naval officer, international beauty queen and recording artist, cartoonist, publisher, chaperone for native nurses program, graduate from a US military academy, first woman to open a school for the arts, and first woman to preside over the Association of Pacific Islands Legislature.

Soroptomist president Wayne Santos said, "If Guam is going to lead we need to learn from these first women of Guam who have blazed new paths and developed new solutions for generations of women to come. There are a lot of you out there who are women firsts so just wait for your chance at the next round."

As Barrett-Anderson implied, it is now time for a new generation of women to step up and fill these shoes.

These are women who made history, who were pioneers in their fields and who set the foundation for other young women to follow in their wake.

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