She became a Rosie the Riveter when she joined the workforce at Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa, OK. In September 1943, Juanita transferred to the plant in Long Beach CA. Her name is among those honored on the Wall at the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center.
Ms. Scott, like many African Americans, found that employment was a bit more difficult after the war. She worked at Lerner Shops, a women’s clothing store as a window and mannequin stylist, and Southern Pacific Railroad. She worked as a domestic with a variety of clients, including a major movie star; Mrs. Manuel Scott and a cousin, Mrs. Helen Wright. She obtained her Cosmetology License and served as the neighborhood hairdresser.
Juanita, who was inspired by Marcus Garvey (having marched in his parades), found an opportunity to help her by working with the Neighborhood Adult Participation Project (NAPP) with Mrs. Opal C. Jones. Through NAPP’s Operation Mainstream she went back to school and through job opportunities became a Licensed Vocational Nurse.
She is the mother of Clifford McClain, Jessye Scott-Stafford, Iranita Scott-Lewis, Mikeal Scott-Milton, Barbara Scott, and Merri Scott. She worked two jobs to give her children the best education and by her own example taught them the importance of family, education, and community service. She initiated the Stephens Family Reunion over sixty-one years ago and continues to stress to her children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren that family and education are the keys to prosperity and self-actualization.
Ms. Scott worked as a Teacher’s Aide in the Head Start program and for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She also found time to help with the early childhood development of her many grandchildren.
To further assist her community, Ms. Scott worked on Voter Registration campaigns throughout the years. She was very active in the Library Adult Reading Program (LARP). As a member of Ascension Catholic Church, she has been very active in the Ascension and Saint Francis Cabrini parishes. She taught Catechism for years and served communion to the sick and shut-ins. She is also a member of the Altar and Rosary Society and the African American Evangelization Center.
Ms. Juanita Stephens Scott is hereby highly commended for her dedicated service to family and community, and best wishes are extended for a happy 100th birthday and celebration of life.