Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
A mentoring program for adolescent girls will honor five local women who have blazed the way in their respective fields by serving in professions normally dominated by men.
“We wanted to let these women know that they are appreciated,” said Regina Brown, co-founder of In His Image Ministry, which is hosting the March 6 inaugural event that begins at 6 p.m. at the Jacksonville Public Library.
As a nod to national Women's History Month, observed annually in March, In His Image leaders and participants “decided that they would like to recognize (these) women for their commitment to the community, (choosing) a diverse group who are currently working in roles that are predominantly held by men,” Brown said.
The 2014 honorees include:
• Dr. Kristin L. Ault, co-founder and physician at Family First Clinic and Urgent Care in Jacksonville. Ault is a graduate of Jacksonville High School, and received degrees from Sam Houston State University and Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
• Janis L. Gowin, who serves as the science department head at Jacksonville High School. The Jacksonville native was recognized in 2010 as both Secondary Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year 2010, and was named an Influential Indian in 2012 by the Jacksonville Education Foundation. She received both a bachelor's and a master's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
• Tonya Harris, a 20-year detective with the Jacksonville Police Department. Harris is a graduate of Lufkin High school and received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from the University of Phoenix. Her professional recognitions include being named among the Outstanding Young Women of America ing 1991; named a Rookie of The Year 100 Chart 1995; receiving the Lee-Zimmerman Award; the Officer of the Year in 1996 and 2000; the Texas State Gang Investigators Award in 1999; the United States Secret Service Award in 2001; and named a Master Peace Officer in 2005.
• Tammy Jones, principal of Jacksonville High School. Jones received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University Bachelors and Master’s Degree
Lufkin High School.
• Leisha R. Mosley, a Jacksonville High School graduate who is CEO Leisha Enterprises, CEO of East Texas African American Chamber of Commerce and senior vice president of 5LINX Enterprises, Inc. The Jacksonville native attended Tyler Junior College and Stephen F. Austin State University. Her recognitions include receiving the 1997 Top Preparer Brokerage Award and serving as an honorary founder of Lifeline Financial Freedom Solutions.
Brown said that in recognizing the honorees, young women throughout the community will have access to women in professional roles in the community.
As the five recipients describe their struggles and successes to get to where they are now, “the girls will realize that success is not magic but takes effort,” Brown said.