PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Fleet Master Chief April D. Beldo was recognized Feb. 19, as the 2016 U.S. Navy Non-Commissioned Officer award recipient during the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) 11th Annual Stars and Stripes dinner in Philadelphia.
"I'm humbled and honored to receive this award," Beldo said following the award presentation. "This represents 33 years of service in the Navy doing what I love -- leading and mentoring Sailors. And more than anything, it represents the simple truth that you can do anything you put your mind to if you work hard and stay focused."
Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran attended the ceremony and gave the dinner's keynote address highlighting the importance of STEM, how organizations like BEYA contribute to the success of the Navy, and the important role leaders like Beldo, and the other BEYA award recipients play in today's Navy.
"What better way for us to remember the legacy of this great city, than to reflect on the American spirit that is still ignited, and shining brightly in these individuals tonight," Moran said during his remarks. "My fervent hope is that by reflecting on what these leaders have accomplished, it will ignite us all with courage and tenacity and cause us to dream, to dream what we see."
Moran said BEYA helps play a key role in showing young men and women throughout the country what is possible as well as the true meaning of mentorship and leadership.
"Our Navy must be led by individuals who dream the possible, who are consumed with a passion for excellence, and the will to win," Moran said. "It's up to us to show them the way. There is no better place to be, no better life to live than in the service of a cause greater than self."
The three-day BEYA conference, which concludes Feb. 20, brings together young men and women from around the country who demonstrate outstanding performance in a technical field and show great potential for shaping the future course of engineering, science, math and technology.