High school staff and cadets at Sarasota Military Academy (SMA), a local public charter school, recently created a documentary to recognize and celebrate female veterans that served in WWII. After the project was completed, the cadets presented the documentary to local female veterans during a luncheon hosted at Atria Senior Living in Sarasota.

In 2018, SMA Captain Ebony Mackey and SMA Captain Jennifer Vanston collaborated with cadets enrolled in IB/AP U.S. History classes to record experiences from several local female veterans living in Sarasota that were some of the first to serve in the United States Military. When the project was completed, the documentary was presented to the veterans and their families at a luncheon event at Atria Senior Living. Those in attendance were given a photo book and copy of the documentary highlighting their service and stories.

“At a time when women’s positions in society were more defined and traditional, these strong and inspirational women became role models – not just for those around them, but for our young cadets today,” said SMA Captain Jennifer Vanston, IB/AP US History Instructor. “ It was an honor for all of us to meet these amazing women and learn about some of our country’s history through their life stories.”

The cadets who volunteered for this program and conducted research and interviews include Sarasota Military Academy high school cadets Daniel Hernandez-Curiel, Kacee Bonilla Martinez, Genesis Wesley, Quinn Selby-Gomez, Nicole Fic and Hannah Phillips. Several of the veterans featured in the project include Amy Shlaf (Homefront), Miriam Zelin (WAC), Wendy Hobson (WAVES), Mary Bailes (Nurse, Air Force) and Marg Goundie (SPARS).  

“We are incredibly proud to partner with cadets on projects and documentaries that teach them about much more than basic academic lessons – we want to show them what it means to make an impact, inspire someone, and do the right thing, even when it sometimes seems impossible,” said SMA Captain Ebony Mackey, Sarasota Military Academy Reading Instructor. “Our cadets were incredibly inspired and impressed by these amazing women who were truly ahead of their time.”

To view the documentary, visit https://youtu.be/nfJcxR9vkHo.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

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