The Houston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with One Delta Plaza Educational Center (ODPEC) recently honored four NASA African American women leaders at the 17th Annual Jazz Soirée Scholarship Fundraiser.

The theme — “Harlem Renaissance: All That Jazz” — provided the historical musical framework to celebrate four pioneering STEM leaders and local “Hidden Figures” serving at Houston’s Johnson Space Center. The event raised tens of thousands of dollars for scholarships to be awarded in early 2019 to high-achieving, college-bound students.

The NASA honorees receiving the Geraldine Pittman Woods Award for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) were: Vanessa Wyche, Johnson Space Center Deputy Director; Annette Moore, Johnson Space Center Chief Information Officer; Debra L. Johnson, Johnson Space Center Director of the Office of Procurement; and Donna Blackshear-Reynolds, Chief of the Spaceflight Operations Resources Office in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. Wyche, Moore and Johnson are members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Blackshear-Reynolds is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Houston musicians Joe Carmouche and Lloyd Hughes immersed attendees in the smooth sounds of jazz. In addition to live entertainment, the affair included dinner, dancing, a silent auction and vendors. There were 22 celebrity waiters each contributing $1,000 or more whose generosity will enhance the more than $120,000 awarded by the Houston Alumnae Chapter this academic year.

Angela Sterling, Tonja Jackson and Gwendolyn Drumgoole served as the jazz soirée co-chairs.

The soirée supports Houston Alumnae Chapter community service programs. This fundraising partnership also allows ODPEC to support its programs and projects.