This article originally appeared on The Philadelphia Tribune.
Jeffery and Daynese Stowe of Roxborough will be the first African-American father and daughter to actively serve as firefighters at the same time in the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Daynese was scheduled to graduate from the Philadelphia Fire Academy on Wednesday. The same day, Jeffery, who is the Deputy Chief Aide for the Philadelphia Fire Department, will celebrate his 30th anniversary of being a firefighter.
He plans on spending on his day watching his daughter be inducted into the Philadelphia Fire Academy. This year’s class will be the academy’s biggest with 121 students.
“I’m so ecstatic,” said Daynese’s mother, LeAnne Hall-Stowe. “Daynese was in Class 192 three years ago and two weeks ago before graduation she was told she had to take the EMS test and she failed her first time. She didn’t give up. I’m over joyed for her. God has a plan and what’s for you is for you.”
Growing up as a child Daynese was always physically active and played basketball and volleyball throughout her teenager years, according to her mother.
Basketball was her ticket to a full ride to college and her hard work landed her a contract to play pro-basketball overseas in Finland.
After Daynese paid for her plane ticket to Finland and signed her contract, her agent disappeared.
“This feels like a sigh of relief,” Daynese said. “This was another goal I was able to accomplish. I’m content that I didn’t give up. I feel on top of the world. I tell kids all the time that there’s nothing that you can’t do. I try to lead by example through hard work and dedication.”
Daynese’s love and passion as an aspiring firefighter comes from her father, who graduated from the fire department November 13, 1989. Daynese was only five-years-old and desired to emulate her father.
“I am absolutely blessed,” Jeffery said. “I didn’t find a job but a career. It helped shape and mold me beyond what my parents did.”
Daynese recalls her mother having a firefighter device in their home and waiting for the dispatcher to release the location of the next fire. Daynese’s mother would take the children to meet her father at the scene of the fire. This was one of her fondest memories growing up as a daughter of a firefighter.
“Everyday someone tells me that my father made a mark in their lives,” she said. “They tell me that my father is great. He embodies a lot of personality and is an honorable person. He never took any short cuts. My work ethic is similar to my fathers.”
Jeffery holds high standards for his daughter.
“She’s perfect for the job,” he said. “I work with some of the finest women in the fire department and she exemplifies those women.”
Jeffery credits his wife LeAnne for having an amazing impact on his daughter and children.
“Her mother is a big supporter and inspiration to Daynese and our other two children,” he said.