Ham radio isn’t just for men.
And the Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL) will tell you just that.
“This organization provides a network and support in a hobby that has been dominated by men,” Anne Manna, WB1ARU, from Massachusetts, said. Manna is the secretary of the YLRL.
The YLRL was founded in 1939 and, as Manna says, supports women in amateur radio around the world.
“Women are getting involved in all aspects of the field — technology, robotics, digital media, building, friendships, contests — just like the men,” she said. “We have girls as young as 9-10 and as old as 100.”
Manna’s husband first introduced her to ham radio, and soon after they married she earned her license and joined YLRL.
“I knew a lot of nice people in it and it sounded like fun,” she said.
Since then, ham radio has brought her all over the world.
“I’ve traveled to places I never would have gone or would have thought to visit — and it’s because of ham radio,” she said, listing Europe, Australia and Iceland as a few examples of places she’s gone to meet friends or attend conventions.
YLRL hosts its own convention every few years, puts out a newsletter and offers scholarships.
Attending Hamvention for the last 10 years, Manna ended up in Greene County this year and said she’s encouraging women to get involved.
“I like this organization because it introduces women to other women and then they don’t feel so alone,” she said.
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