Reflections in Black: June Bacon-Bercey

May 21, 2020

Born in Wichita, Kan. in 1928, June Esther Bacon-Bercey gravitated toward science, and at a young age, her teachers encouraged her to pursue STEM studies. She would eventually become the first African American woman to receive a bachelor's degree in meteorology from UCLA. Bacon-Bercey would study meteorological impacts of atomic testing sites, and in 1971, she was hired by NBC affiliate WGRZ. Although she was hesitant about becoming an on-air personality for fear of diminishing the seriousness of her work, she broke the glass ceiling for women and people of color, and would eventually go on to work for the National Weather Service. She continued a lifetime of service and giving back, and worked diligently to encourage more women to pursue STEAM professions.