Shanna Bookal: Trail Blazer Spotlight

Now, more than ever, we need to come together in support of each other, especially those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, in honor of women who rock our world and blaze a bright trail for all those around them, we’re honored to spotlight Shanna Bookal.

Shanna is a proud graduate of the University of South Florida from which she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health in 2015 and Master’s Degree in Public Health in 2018, concentrating in Global Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief and Homeland Security. In 2018, she also earned her Food Safety Manager Certification from the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals.

Throughout her educational career, Shanna served her community as a member of the Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc., Black Student Union, Alpha Phi Omega Co-Ed Service Fraternity, Army ROTC, Joint Military Association, Residence Hall Association, and more. As a result of her extensive leadership, she received the BHM Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2014.

Post-graduation, Shanna has continued serving others, including through the COVID-19 pandemic, at great personal sacrifice. On Friday, she posted on Facebook, “My father in NY passed away last night due to the Coronavirus and complications that arose from preexisting conditions. I am an essential public health officer so I dried my tears and have headed out to the field so I can continue to serve. Please pray for me, my family, my team and stay safe out there during this pandemic. Please do not act out of fear but take the proper precautions through being responsibly and accurately informed. Look out for yourselves and your family but remember there are people out there struggling just like you and times such as these show your TRUE CHARACTER. This virus is real. #RIPDAD”

Shana, the grief you have experienced and ultimate sacrifice you have shown in this situation is unimaginable and beyond courageous. Thank you for being YOU and for *all* you are doing to selflessly care for and save others while your own heart is breaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. The Spread Your Sunshine community is inspired by, and in awe of, you and your story and sending you big virtual hugs during the continued long weeks to come. You truly are a hero without a cape.

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