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City of Miami Commission on the Status of Women

2004 Honorees

      Click on their Bios to see diverse and interlocking stories of these women who have played a critical role in America’s history.


                                     The 2004 Honorees are :

Georgia Jones Ayer Tomasina Diggs Maud P.Newbold Miriam Urra
Cynthia C. Baugh Leonie Marie Hermantin Dorothy Quintana Jennifer Valoppi
Alberta Batchelor Blecke Farah Juste Maite Roca  
Ann Carlton Lisa Martinez Doris Klein Scheer  




Georgia Jones Ayers


Georgia Jones Ayers is a native of Miami.  She was born on October 21, 1928.  Her parents were George and Lila Thomas.  She attended Dorsey High School until 1945.

From 1953 to 1975, Georgia worked as an Agent for Atlanta Life Insurance Company.  She served as an Area Coordinator for Dade County Model Cities from 1968 until 1971, and as Regional Center Director for the Miami-Dade Community Action Agency from 1971 to 1982.

 In 1982, she became the Founder and is currently the Executive Director for The Alternative Program, Inc., also known as The Janet Reno New Chance Alternative School. 

 She has been active in the community since 1968, serving as Charter Member of the Opportunity Industrialization Center (I.O.C.); a member of the Miami Coalition for a Safe And Drug-Free Community; a member of the American Cancer Society, the Top Ladies of Distinction and of the Mount Vernon AME Church.

 In 1967 she developed the Miami-Dade Police Department Community Relations Council, and the Miami Police Department Community Relations Council in 1969.  Ms. Jones Ayers was the first recipient of the Miami Herald’s “Spirit of Excellence Award” in 1985.

 Georgia has received numerous International, National, State and Local Awards, including the “Trailblazer Award” from the City of Miami Police Department; the Education and Community Service Award from Bethune Cookman College Alumni; and the Civil Rights Advocacy Award for the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

 Georgia Jones Ayers is married to Archie L. Ayers.  They have six children, 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. 

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 Cynthia C. Baugh


Born in 1948, Cynthia attended Chicago public Schools, graduating from Harrison High School in 1967.  After attending college for a year, she left to marry and joined her husband in Frankfurt, Germany, during his military service in 1968.   Upon returning to Chicago in 1969, she worked as an Office Manager at People’s Gas, Light and Electric Company.  She then became a professional model with I. Magnin as their House Model and did runway fashion shows and print advertisements for Marshall Fields, Carson Pirie Scott, and several other Chicago department stores.

In 1972, Cynthia applied for the position of Flight Attendant with Eastern Airlines but was rejected for not being qualified because of the “marital status.”  She filed a Civil Action suit with the State of Illinois Fair Employment Practices Commission.  Cynthia Jones v. Eastern Airlines, for alleged sexist and discriminatory hiring practices by the Airline Industry.  Male Stewards and pilots had no such marital restriction.  Winning the lawsuit not only lifted the restriction for female Flight Attendants, it also resulted in the first female airline pilot being hired.

 At Eastern, Cynthia met and married her second husband, an airline pilot who later flew for United Airlines after Eastern’s demise.  They have been married for 28 years and have a 25-year-old daughter.  They are presently retired and living in Plantation, Florida.

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 Alberta Batchelor Blecke


Alberta has been an incredibly committed community volunteer for over twenty years whose determined effort to aid neglected, at-risk and abused children, especially girls and young women, has changed our social and judicial fabric for the better. 

 She started as a Junior League volunteer observing the juvenile courts, which resulted in the 1980 founding of Guardian Ad Litem, which now has 400 “Guardians.”  This sparked here the founding in 1984 of CHARLEE (Children Have All Rights, Legal, Educational and Emotional), a Menninger-pioneered program providing safe home, educational and mental health support for emotional-disturbed youth in foster care.   This program has now served over 4000 children and gained national recognition for Miami through TV star Rosie O’Donnell who has become one of its foster mothers. 

In 1991,Bertha helped establish the Gladstone Center for Girls, where severely sexually abused girls, ages 2-18, receive therapy, schooling and medical care.  Then, at the request of the State Attorney’s Office, she brought together a Board representing all of the justice, treatment and children advocacy groups here to cooperate in creating Kristi House, Inc., in 1999 to coordinate all programs in one place-the first time in history of our community!

 Bertha’s efforts have brought her numerous awards including the Juvenile Justice Center’s “Wall of Fame” in 1999; the State of Florida’s Community Child Advocate of the Year, in 1995; The Miami Herald/Nuevo Herald’s “Charles Whited Spirit of Excellence”, in 1998; and the Miami-Dade County’s Children Services Council “Champion of Children”, in 1999; and the “Woman of Impact” award from the Coalition of Women’s History in 2002.   

 Bertha has made a great impact as a dedicated volunteer working on behalf of the children in our community.

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Ann Carlton


Ms. Ann Carlton was a concert pianist since she was a child and well into her teen years. A native of South Florida, she lived with her parents in Lemon City, where her parents operated a general store when the McArthur Dairies had their pastures there. When McArthur sold the land to developers, her family moved to Miami on N.W.  1 St. What is today known as Little Havana.

She was a beauty contest winner, which led her to a screen contract with Warner Brothers. That contract had a non-marriage clause, which she broke when she married Jon Carlton, an opera singer that later became a Real Estate Broker. She became an accordionist and teamed up with her husband to travel for the U.S. Government, entertaining troops overseas. She and her husband visited 102 countries, including Korea, China and Japan. She was awarded a Silver Medal by the Far East Command.

Ms. Carlton served as liaison between the U.S. Government officials and dignitaries and foreign nationals for five and a half years. She also worked in the theater with stars like Frank Sinatra, Dick Van Dyke, Rudy Vallee, Cloris Leachman, Billy Gilbert and many others. She left the theater to operate two real estate offices with her husband. She closed these offices when her husband passed away in 1981 to work as an administrator for a land company. She also became totally involved with her community, for which she was recognized in the Congressional Record.

Ms. Carlton served for five and a half years in the City of Miami’s Code Enforcement Board; two and a half of these years as the chairperson. When she left the Code Enforcement Board, she became more involved with her community in the Upper East Side. She was a Board member of the Biscayne Chamber of Commerce for four years; served on the Board of the Shorecrest Education Board for two years; and was the chairperson of the Shorecrest Education Board for two years; and was a teacher of drama, piano and accordion. Ms.Carlton also worked in the development of the Eastside Holiday Program.

Throughout her many experiences, Ms.Carlton called Miami her home, which is also the home to her children and grandchildren.

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 Tomasina Diggs


Thomasina is presently the Director of the Overtown Family Enrichment Center (OFEC) in Miami, Florida.  OFEC is a Neighborhood center that is sponsored by New Horizons Community Mental Health Center, Inc., the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Human Services.  New Horizons is one of the oldest Miami based non-profit organizations that specializes in addressing issues of mental illness, substance abuse and many other social services. 

 As the Director of this seven-year-old Overtown based agency, Thomasina is tasked with improving the lives of Miami’s historic Overtown district as well as Miami children of Overtown.  The many programs that have been produced by Thomasina while at the helm of OFEC include Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Dads in Response, The Overtown Christmas Shopping Spree, A-Train for Teen Moms as well as many others.

OFEC while under Thomasina’s leadership also began offering emergency housing and financial assistance for misplaced families due to unforeseen circumstances.  Most recently Thomasina was honored by her peers at the Junior League of Miami with its highest award for Community Service.

Thomasina has been involved in many successful not for profit ventures over the years.  While at the Mental Health Association of Metropolitan Atlanta she raised thousands of dollars while working hand-in-hand with the Lt. Governor of the State of Georgia Pierre Howard and the United States Senator Sam Nunn in order to raise awareness about mental illness.  Thomasina was recognized for launching what was considered as the most successful fundraising and awareness campaign in history of the Mental Health Association of Metro Atlanta.  She organized 5K races, golf tournaments, black tie galas and town hall meetings that were coordinated to address the stigma attached to mental illness.  Thomasina is a native of Miami, Florida and is the daughter of Thomas (deceased) and Violette Turner.

 Since moving back from Atlanta to South Florida some nine years ago, Thomasina has joined many professional, civic and community based organizations.  She is active in The Junior League of Greater Miami.  She is a member of the Advisory Board of Overtown Youth Center.  She is also a member of the Overtown Task Force and is an active room mother in her daughter Dominique’s elementary school.  Thomasina has appeared in The New York Times, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and many other newspapers.  She can be seen regularly at various high schools within Overtown and Miami areas dealing with issues that affect our children.

 Along with being and avid supporter of children’s issues, Thomasina is a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, were she obtained a B.A. in Mass Communications and  in Public Relations.  She is married to Bill Diggs (her husband of 20 years) and together they have two children, Drew and Dominique

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Leonie M. Hermatin is the Director of Research and Strategic Planning for the Haitian Neighborhood Center, Sant La, a One-Stop Neighborhood Resource Center that serves Haitian/Haitian American population of South Florida.

 Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Leonie Marie Hermantin migrated to the United States at the age of twelve, After graduating from High school in New York, she moved to Berkeley, California, where she earned a Bachelors in Arts in Latin American Studies, a Master in City Planning and a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of California at Berkeley.

 In 1993 she moved to Miami and immediately became involved in its Haitian community. At FIU’s Center for Environmental and Urban Problems, she worked as a planning consultant for two years designing surveys of community based organizations located within the City of Miami. She also prepared an analysis of CDBG funding trends for the Little Haiti Community at the request of the Little Haiti Net. During her time at FIU, she served as a Visiting Professor for the School of Design where she developed curriculum and classroom instruction for the coordination and implementation of a new Master’s program in Urban and Environmental Systems.

 In 1997 Hermantin left the scholastic world and became an active advocate and participant in the Haitian community of South Florida. Her involvement began when she joined the Haitian American Foundation, Inc., HAFI, as the Director of Economic development. In December of 1998 she assumed the role of Assistant Executive Director and where she remained until August of 2001. Shortly after leaving HAFI Harmantin took a position as the Director of Research and Strategic Planning at the Haitian Neighborhood Center located in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. Here Hermantin’s work focuses on coordinating efforts to gather and report on information and statistics regarding South Florida’s Haitian Community.

In addition to working more than full-time at Sant La, she finds time to serve on community advisory boards, to speak at numerous educational and community panels, forums, conferences and workshops. Her community involvement includes serving on the board of such groups as the Statewide Covering Kids Coalition, Early Childhood Advisory Board, Little Haiti Housing Association, and serving as Chair to the Haitian Elders Task For, Alliance for Aging just to name a few. In 1999 Hermantin was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve as Commissioner on the Florida Commission for Human Relations where she served until her term was up in December 2003.

Ms.Hermantin is one of the Haitian community’s most active members whose contributions deserve recognition. 

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 Farah Juste


Farah Juste was born and raised in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and started singing at the age of 7 in her neighborhood church, St. Gerard Church, located in Carrefour-feuville.  As she grew older, she began writing poetry and political songs denouncing the Douvalier regime.

It wasn’t until she immigrated to Montreal, Canada, that she began to sing these songs in public, while attending the Institute Geraldine of the Arts.  Farah eventually settled in New York City where she began her career as a passionate singer of Haitian folk songs.  She then joined Soley Leve (Rising Sun), a cultural association that promotes Haitian folk music and dance. 

In 1977 she produced her first album as a solo artist.  The album gained critical acclaim and marked the rise of an important voice on the Haitian musical landscape.  Farah self-produced and recorded 14 albums.  Unlike her contemporaries, Farah did not sign primarily compass, Haitian dance music.  Her music was more political and relayed the pain and misfortunes of the vast Haitian underclass.  She also worked with well-known musician Dadou Pasquet who became her musical arranger as well as with Bemol Telfort.

In 1983, Farah moved to Miami, FL where a fledgling Haitian community was taking root after a wave of Haitians drifted ashore in the late 1970s.  Farah Juste became a community activist championing the rights of the recent immigrants before the Immigration and Naturalization Service and other entities discriminating against them.  She became the unofficial voice of the community and was often quoted in the Miami Herald, CNN as well as other news media.

In 1985 Farah opened her day care center, “Farah’s Angels”, which has grown from 5 children to 123.  She provides early child-care to the children of North Miami.

Farah released her defining song, “Halleluyiah Pou Haiti” in 1986 from her self-styled album “Farah”.  She had also the unique opportunity to perform with the woman who inspired her to sing, the late Martha Jean Claude in both Montreal, Canada and in Cuba where Ms. Claude lived in exile.  Farah has also sung in New York’s Carnegie Hall and in venues in Paris, Spain and Switzerland.

Each year on the anniversary of Haiti’s Independence, Farah presents a concert at Miami’s James L. Knight Center.  As such, she is pictured on the international mural between Diana Ross and Patti Labelle with the Haitian Flag behind her. 

Farah Juste is married to Dr. Jean Claude Degranges and her children are Karen, Larry and her namesake Farah.

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Lisa Martinez


A native of Miami, Lisa Martinez graduated from Miami Sunset Senior High School in 1989.  She attended Florida International University (FIU) and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Masters Degree in Elementary Education, and recently completed requirements for an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. She is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher – Middle Childhood Generalist Certification.

 Ms. Martinez is currently the Program Director for Mayor Manuel Diaz’s Mentoring Initiative.  This program focuses on bringing support and assistance to Holmes Elementary School, the City’s one “F” elementary school.  She has brought together over 14 different organizations to work in collaboration with a focus on student achievement, parental involvement, and the physical environment of the school.

Ms. Martinez has been in the field of education for over 13 years.  She started in the Miami Dade County Public Schools as a teacher’s aide, then worked as a substitute teacher, and earned a full time position at Coconut Grove Elementary School upon completion of her Bachelors Degree at FIU.   She has taught grades first through fifth in the regular classroom, the gifted program, the Academic Excellence Program, and Remedial Tutoring Program.  Lisa has played many leadership roles within the educational field, including Academic Activities Chairperson, Educational Excellence School Advisory Chairperson, Dade Partner Liaison, Professional Growth Team Coach, National Board mentor, and Critical Friends Group Coach.  These leadership roles focused on student achievement, professional development of peers, and the development of curriculum programs at the school.

During the 2002-2003 school year, Ms. Martinez developed, along with Officer Maurice Austin and Brian Grant from the Miami Heat, a Coconut Grove based non-profit organization called Positive Partnerships Program.  This program’s main focus is on identifying kids on the verge of middle school (fourth and fifth graders) that demonstrate a potential to be successful, but that struggle with a variety of issues including anger management, problem solving, conflict resolution, etc.  This program draws these students and their families into a safety net of community resources.  These resources include support from the City of Miami through the Parks and Recreations Department, the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce through the volunteering of mentors and resources of businesses, the support of the schools through the monitoring of behavior and effort through weekly progress reports, the support of positive teenage role models through the branch of the Positive Partnerships Program called the Coconut Grove Youth Council, and through collaboration with Senior Citizens form the Coconut Grove Community and the JESCA program as the students learn the value of community service. 

 Ms. Martinez is divorced and has a 5-year-old son, Juan Carlos Raminez.

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Maud P. Newbold


Maud P. Newbold is a native of Miami and a descendant of a well-known pioneer family who came to the United States from the Bahamas in 1918.  She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1958.

She is a retired Elementary School Principal from the Miami-Dade County School System.  She served as Principal at George Washington Carver Elementary School and at Frances S. Tucker Elementary School; this school was selected to become a Medical Environment and Diversified Science Magnet (MEDS), which won the MEDS Magnet Award of Distinction from the Magnet International Schools of American in May 1997.  She also served as Assistant Principal, Language Arts PLATS Teacher, Early childhood and Elementary Teacher for the Miami-Dade County School system for a total of 36 years.

Amongst her many civic and community services, Ms. Newbold is a member of the Women History Coalition of Miami-Dade County, where she served as President for 2000-2001.  As President, she wrote a weekly column in the Miami Times about several outstanding African-American women with unique careers.  She was also the Coordinator of Project 2000:SOS, serving gifted/talented students, sponsored by the Dade County Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Inc.

She served as 2nd Vice-President of the Union Black Episcopalian; a lifelong member of the historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church; St. Cecilia’s Chapter of the Daughters of the King, St. Theresa’s Chapter and coordinator of the Hand bell Ringers of St. Agnes.

 Ms. Newbold is a Charter member and first President of Dade County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women and the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.

Ms. Newbold received a B. S. Degree in elementary Education (Cum Laude) from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach; a M. S. Degree in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction from Florida International University; and post graduate studies from Florida A & M University.  She has a Certification in Elementary School Administration from the University of Miami and from Barry College.  She also completed studies at University of Madrid in Madrid, Spain.

She has been the star performer on the “One Woman Show on Paul Lawrence Dumbar’s Poems” during Black History Month celebrations throughout the Miami-Dade County from 1978 to the present.

 On a personal note, she is a single guardian of three teen-age children.

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Dorothy Quintana


Dorothy Quintana was born on August 24, 1909 in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, in an era when women were not expected to have an opinion and much less influence our leadership in justly serving all constituents alike.  Mrs. Quintana has been a resident of Wynwood for over 50 years and has lived up to her personal constitution of dedicating her life to serving others.

She has worked hard for the various communities in the Miami area, without asking for recognitions or monetary compensation.  Today, approaching her 96th birthday, Mrs. Quintana is respected and loved by many and she has served as an inspiration to our leaders with her vision, energy and tenacity.

In 1912, Dorothy’s family moved from Puerto Rico to Santiago de Cuba, where she studied at the “Colegio Belen”, a well-known Catholic school.  In 1924, her father suffered a stroke and the family returned to Puerto Rico.  In 1927, her family moved to New York, where she worked as a seamstress to help her mother with the sustenance of her two younger twin brothers.  In 1935 she married Domique De Capra, an Italian immigrant, but that marriage ended up in divorce a few years later.

On September 1, 1948, Dorothy married the true love of her life, Efrain Quintana, with whom she moved to Miami with  in 1950.  The Quintanas moved to the Wynwood area in 1957, in a house on Northwest 34th Street, the same house where she still lives.  When the first wave of Haitian immigrants arrived in Miami in 1956, Mrs. Quintana, as a member of an organization named Community Action, provided food, clothing and arranged for shelter and other articles of necessity for these new immigrants. 

Ever since, Mrs. Quintana has been working hard to serve the community in Miami as a volunteer in the Citizens Patrol and Crime Prevention Groups; helping people in securing social services, Medicare and Medicaid; and assistance programs for senior citizens.  Mrs. Quintana said that her quest in life is, “To continue helping Wynwood in any way I can to combat drug-related crimes and to help the children, the poor and the senior citizens of the area.”

Mrs. Quintana has received many citations and recognitions from the City of Miami, The Miami Police Department, the Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Relations, and from several community organizations located in the South Florida area, including the Dr. Jean Jones-Perdue Service Award, from the National Commission of Puerto Rican Women, and the Miami-Dade Alliance for the Aging.  Her name was honored with a special mention in the Congressional Record on January 25, 1993.

In April 2002, the City of Miami remodeled the community center located in the Roberto Clemente Park and named it the “Dorothy Quintana Center”. 

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Maite Roca

Born and raised in Miami, Maite has a genuine love for her community and its people. She has provided invaluable services throughout her career to Miami-Dade County and its surrounding communities, including ongoing consulting services in planning, linking and coordinating, as well as implementing various outreach programs. Maite has demonstrated an innate ability to create teamwork and effectively take control of unstable situations. She is self reliant, self-motivated, persistent, enthusiastic, creative, and honest as well as thoughtful, caring and willing to immediately put the needs of others before her own.

Maite’s main focus has been homelessness. She began her extensive career as a substance abuse counselor working primarily with homeless women and children coping with AIDS. In addition, she has also worked as a mental health counselor for a mobile crisis disaster response team responding to hot line calls involving mental health crisis and medical emergencies. Maite has spearheaded pilot programs within targeted geographical areas, resulting in positive outcomes.

Hurricane Andrew was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and many lives were forever changed as a result. Maite did not hesitate to join the Hurricane Andrew Disaster Relief Project. Working with local organizations as well as FEMA, she was instrumental in assessing the mental health conditions and needs of the community, which resulted in a unique delivery approach of services, including health, education, jobs and housing for individuals and families that enhanced their daily and future lives and subsequently the community. The invaluable services Maite provided later armed her with the skills necessary to help surrounding areas as well, including Miami’s neighbor, the Florida Keys, which suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Georges, Hurricane Mitch and Hurricane Irene. She was the project manager for the Federal Project Hope, Hurricane Recovery Crisis Counseling Outreach program, which went door-to-door in Miami-Dade County and Monroe County assisting individuals and families. In fact, she was honored by Monroe County’s mayor Wihelmina Harvey for her selfless contributions to that community.

Since 2000, Maite has coordinated special services and intervention activities, prevention workshops and support services for Carrfour Supportive Housing, a non-profit organization whose mission is to end homelessness in Miami-Dade County by providing transitional housing, permanent affordable housing and the possibility for home ownership for individuals and families. 

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Doris Klein Scheer

Ms. Scheer was born in 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she lived with her parents until 1946 when the family moved to Miami. After graduating from High School and Business School, she worked as a Legal Secretary for three years and became an Administrative Secretary to the president of a prominent Mortgage Company.

In 1957 she married Jack Scheer and bought a house in Coral Gable in 1958, where she still lives.

In 1963, she and her husband started their own family business, Doris Jay, Inc. in the Miami Garment District, which is now known as Wynwood. They manufactured women’s clothing that was sold locally and nationally, all prominently displaying the “Made in Miami” label. The business was so successful that in 1969, she quit her job with the mortgage company to become totally active with it. The business was discontinued in 1999 due to her husband’s illness.

Her community activities include the City’s Planning Advisory Board; Board Member of the Coral Gate Homeowners Association since its inception; Recording Secretary of the Coral Gable High School Board’s Parents Association; and served on the Board of Directors of the Merrick Elementary Parents-Teachers Association.

Mrs. Scheer has three children and seven grandchildren.

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Miriam was born in Las Villas, Cuba. She came to Miami in 1961 and graduated from Miami Senior High. Miriam took college courses at Miami Dade Community College and Florida Memorial College. Mrs. Urra worked for several years in the optical field before owning her own business with her husband Orlando Urra.

In 1981 Mrs. Urra began her employment with the City of Miami as a Counselor for the Entrant Assistance Program. At this time she provided individuals and groups of refugees with counseling and referral for housing, medical, nutritional, family reunification and other needed services. In addition, she assisted refugees in the process of transition to ensure a prompt and productive assimilation into our economic system. In 1985 Mrs. Urra began her work with the Department of Community Development, City of Miami, as a Community Involvement Specialist. As part of her responsibilities Mrs. Urra disseminated information to City residents about the programs and services provided by the City.

In addition, Through the Citizen Participation Process she informed policy makers on conditions affecting employment opportunities, economic growth and the general quality of life within targeted communities. Upon Mrs. Urra’s husband (Orlando’s) passing she retired from the City of Miami and following her appointment by the Board took the helm of Allapattah community Action as Executive Director, a not for profit corporation that provides services to needy elderly and children in the Allapattah community.  Her responsibilities as Executive Director include the total administration of the Elderly program and the Childcare program. Other job responsibilities involve planning, organizing and directing all activities of the Programs. In addition to administering the daily operations of these programs Mrs. Urra must also assist the Board of Directors and the president in implementing board direction and policies. She is also responsible for the total preparation of the agency’s budget and all financial affairs of the Agency. In 1998

Mrs. Urra was instrumental in the planning, development, and implementation of the “Allapattah Housing for the Elderly” Project, a 64 unit housing facility for low-income families, which was bestowed the “award of merit in Architecture” by the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture.  Mrs. Urra has been active in the community since 1978 and continues her volunteer efforts by serving on the following boards:


  • Miami Dade County Enterprise Community Zone Advisory Council
  • City of Miami Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Advisory Board                  
  • M-DCPS/Office of Adult/Vocational, Alternative and Community Education
  • Adult Special needs Assistance Project Advisory Committee
  • Committee Member – Florida Early Childhood Initiative Foundation

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Jennifer Valoppi

Jennifer Valoppi is a multi-Emmy Award winning journalist who has twice been recognized on the floor of the United States Congress.

Jennifer is the anchor of the 5:30p.m. newscast at WTVJ/NBC 6. From 1994 to 2001, she co-anchored the 11 p.m. news. She took a leading role in NBC 6's on-going coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election, the Elian Gonzalez Controversy, the Versace Murder, numerous hurricanes, the 1996 Olympics and California's Northridge earthquake (Jennifer's first day on the air at WTVJ), reporting live from the devastated areas. She has also taken a leading role in driving the station's commitment to fair, accurate and balanced journalism.

In 1997, Jennifer founded the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program, of which NBC 6 is a proud sponsor. Through Jennifer's leadership, the program has received national recognition. Her vision of women helping women live up to their potential has brought together some of the most prominent professional women in our community to mentor hundreds of young women in South Florida's public high schools. The growing program also provides scholarships for low income and at-risk students.


Jennifer is a veteran television journalist from New York and Los Angeles. She has covered many of the major events of the past 20 years, including leading off WWOR-TV in New York's coverage of the Gulf War and the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion. She anchored and hosted numerous networks, nationally syndicated and national cable programs throughout her career.

 From 1981 to 1984, Valoppi was an anchor and investigative reporter for NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach. At WPTV, she won the United Press International's Award for "Best Investigative Work," for the series "A Shot In The Dark," in which she helped free a man facing the electric chair for the killing of a SWAT Team Member. Thanks in part to Jennifer's work, the man was acquitted and the Palm Beach County Sheriff Department's SWAT Team underwent new training and procedural changes.

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Content provided by the Miami Commission on the Status of Women.