Ranger Betty: Shaping Stories and Inspiring the Next Generation of Trailblazers

Published: March 28, 2022

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Ranger Betty: Shaping Stories and Inspiring the Next Generation of Trailblazers

Our national parks tell the stories of people, communities, and movements while connecting us to the lands we call home. These places are only made more treasured by the people who bring them to life through interpretive conversation, education, and impactful storytelling.

On this day of Women’s History Month, we honor Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest Park Ranger serving with the National Park Service, and the face of the Rosie the Riveter WWII Homefront National Historical Park in Richmond, California. Having supported the WWII efforts on the homefront while working in a segregated union hall as a file clerk, her interpretation and storytelling efforts in the park relate to her own life experiences as a woman and person of color. Betty’s voice also illuminates the experiences of a large force of Americans whose efforts back home supported our nation’s readiness and success on both a local and global scale.

Named one of the nation’s 10 outstanding “Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams” by the National Women’s History Project, Betty is also a recipient of the Silver Medallion Award and Sierra Club’s prestigious Trailblazer Award as a result of a lifetime of service and breaking barriers. Her influence in the direction of the park, her telling of untold stories, and sharing her own history with visitors from around the world have inspired individuals, organizations, and communities to challenge social norms and create change for the next generation of trailblazers and community leaders. 

Leaders like Ranger Betty have helped inspire women and girls throughout the country and share the message that “we can do it!” Modern Rosies all over are working to ensure women and girls have a place in traditionally underrepresented fields like STEM. For example, Rosie Riveters, an organization we’re proud to have a growing partnership with, offers a STEM education and exploration program designed to encourage girls to be creative thinkers and problem solvers while developing a sense of confidence in math and science ideas. The organization is currently offering programs within our National Capital Region and Jacksonville Chapter communities. As this partnership grows, we’re proud to offer experiences and opportunities that support military kids’ curiosity and confidence to be whoever they want to be.

Learn more about Betty Reid Soskin and join her for one of her ongoing virtual Ranger Visits here. Also, be sure to check out the Rosie the Riveter WWII Homefront National Historical Park on Instagram to see its latest efforts and the modern Rosies it’s inspiring! 

For more information about our ongoing partnership with Rosie Riveters, read this blog post and look out for upcoming opportunities and classes on our event calendar.

Posted In: