Young Careerist

Young Careerist logo

Cultivating Leadership & Confidence


The Virginia Allan Young Careerist Program (YC) was founded in 1964 by BPW National President Virginia Allan in order to recognize the professional, personal and political achievements of young professional women and men.


Participants, both BPW and prospective members, compete to represent BPW on the Local and State level by delivering a prepared 4-minute speech, interviewing with judges, and preparing a biographical statement and application.


BPW/FL has a long list of former Young Careerist participants and representatives who, by their participation, have developed a greater sense of self-esteem, and have gone on to more rewarding and fulfilling careers and have demonstrated themselves as outstanding leaders in their communities.


This program recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of young women and men between the ages of 21 and 35 for their endeavors at bettering themselves and others, professionally, personally and politically. The Young Careerist Program is about mentoring and building self-esteem and confidence. It is about giving recognition and acceptance and the celebration to all participants.

YC Program Details

The Young Careerist Competition is held annually during the BPW/FL State Conference.


In the Young Careerist Program, you can:

  • Be recognized for your accomplishments and service in your profession and community.
  • Network with successful women and men in the professional and business work.
  • Improve your self-confidence and leadership skills.
  • Develop friendships and a support network.


To be eligible, a participant must:

  • Be between the ages of 21 and 35 (inclusive by July 31st following the first competition in which she/he participates).
  • Be or have been employed in business (includes self-employed) or the professions with at least one year of full-time work experience in her/his career area.
  • Be living, working or training or continuing her/his education in the area served by the sponsoring local organization conducting the program.
  • Understand and support the BPW/FL mission, vision and legislative platform. Young Careerists must review the legislative platform and pledge they will not speak against platform items in their capacities as Young Careerist representatives, if selected.
  • Be a member of BPW/FL in good standing.


The YC competition consists of:

  • Panel interview by BPW members
  • Speak Off – see criteria below


Criteria for the Young Careerist Speech:

  • Speeches are to be four minutes in length. No props are allowed, and all Young Careerist representatives will be required to remain at the podium when speaking.
  • Paperwork must be postmarked or e-mailed by the deadline date. No changes can be made after the paperwork is submitted.


Past YC Speak Off Questions

      1. As a Young Careerist and a young voter, how do you feel about the comment “I know that he/she doesn’t have international or diplomatic expertise but he/she will learn on the job”?  Should a presidential candidate have a particular type of expertise or background to deal with the worldwide issues that confront our nation?
      2. Social media has had a definitive impact on how information is delivered to individuals and to the masses. What can a Young Careerist do to protect her reputation or fight untruths that may be published?
      3. As a Young Careerist tell us why the Equal Rights Amendment is still relevant and important to the your generation.
      4. Choose a decade in history and explain how a  particular change in that era made an impact on working women today and what impact it will have on the future.
      5. If you were to mentor a young girl, how would you make a positive impact on her future?

Young Careerist Hall of Fame

  • 2014 Jacqueline Elliott, BPW/Englewood-Venice
  • 2013 Pye Young, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas
  • 2012 Nikole Riley, BPW/Tampa Bay
  • 2011 Maria Forlivio Rivero, BPW/Tampa Bay
  • 2010 Dara Cooley, BPW/Tampa Bay
  • 2009 Sarah Taurman, BPW/Tampa Bay
  • 2008 Sarah Deustchmann, BPW/Tampa Bay
  • 2002 Alizza Punzalan-Randle, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas
  • 1998 Tami Simms, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas
  • 1988 Laura K. Hoeft, BPW/Englewood
  • 1987 Karen Klock
  • 1986 Raquel Mattas, BPW/Downtown Luncheon District 11
  • 1985 Christina Mazzara, BPW/Pompano Beach
  • 1984 Kathleen Ann Kearney
  • 1983 Ann Keaney, BPW/FL District 10
  • 1982 Susan Hamilton, BPW/Jacksonville
  • 1980 Eileen Maloney, BPW/FL District 11
  • 1979 Linda Price, BPW/Ft. Pierce
  • 1978 Maureen Shea, BPW/FL District 10
  • 1977 Mary Giddens, BPW/Pionette of Lakeland
  • 1975 Louise Murphy, BPW/Deland
  • 1974 Elizabeth Ann Winnie, BPW/Gainesville
  • 1973 Joy Weatherington, BPW/Tallahassee
  • 1971 Judy Ball, BPW/Temple Terrace
  • 1970 Theresa Lembo
  • 1968 Janet Burnside, BPW/Tampa