RIO DE JANEIRO (NNS) -- Eight girls, all members of the Two Brothers Foundation, a non-profit mentorship organization, visited USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Feb. 28 during a port visit in Brazil as part of Southern Seas 2010.
The Two Brothers Foundation was created to support the children of the Rocinha Favela - a slum - in Rio de Janeiro by providing mentorship, after-school tutoring, and training programs in visual arts, international languages, martial arts and computer education.
During the visit, Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AW/SW) Sonya Hogan of Portsmouth, Va., and Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW/AW) Anna Brooks of Grand Island, Neb., spoke with the young girls about life in the U.S. Navy, obstacles they have overcome in their careers and their accomplishments.
One of the obstacles the Sailors talked to the girls about was balancing their careers with family. Both Chiefs have children of their own and said it's difficult being away from their families back home.
"I think they were surprised [to learn] we sometimes have to leave our children and families for periods of time," said Brooks.
During their visit, the girls also toured various shipboard spaces and took photographs with Carl Vinson Sailors.
"The size of the ship was immense," said Carol Martins, a guest. "[The trip] was cool, interesting, and fun. The Sailors were very friendly and I had a great time."
Before their visit was over, both Chiefs left the girls with words of encouragement.
"I always tell my junior Sailors to 'speak it into existence,'" said Hogan. "Whatever it is you want in the Navy - or in life, period - if you speak it into existence, then it will be."
Hogan added that she thought the visit was a good experience for the girls.
"I think it was motivational for these young women to see females in positions of leadership and authority, and to watch us conduct ourselves with the pride we have in our responsibilities," said Hogan.
Daniel Deoliveira, president of the Two Brothers Foundation, said the visit was a culturally-enriching experience.
"The visit showed us another side of the U.S. military," said Deoliveira. "We were able to connect a friendly face with the military."
Carl Vinson is currently conducting joint operations with the Brazilian military as part of Southern Seas 2010. The operations reinforce U.S. Southern Command's emphasis on theater security, enhancing regional stability and strengthening relationships among regional partners.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.