Nicondra Norwood, the current meteorologist for Fox 8, is a passionate and proactive black woman located right here in New Orleans, LA. She has not always been here, however. Norwood grew up in Gramercy, LA, a small town in St. James Parish. Unlike others who long to leave their small hometowns for big cities, Norwood loves her town! She believed it was the “ideal” place with its small, close knit community and access to world class things, an epitome of doing the most with a little.
The most influential woman in Norwood’s life is her grandmother, Stella Mae Gerard. Gerard was born in 1918, a time where African American people were not granted all of their needs, such as education. In Gramercy, there was no high school for black people, so she had not had the ability of being educated past 8th grade. The tradition of doing the most with a little began with her. Stella Mae Gerard was gifted in arithmetic. Selling Avon for over 40 years, she has never made one mistake in sales, and all of the math was done in her head! She would always make Norwood check her work, and it was always correct. Once or twice, Norwood would try to find a mistake, but there were none there. Gerard continued to do the most with very little by using her shortened education to instill the importance of education in her children, four women who have professional degrees and are retired teachers.
Norwood’s mother, Merita Adams, has been the most influential person in her career. Adams has been a teacher of many different science classes: chemistry, Earth science, physics, you name it! That is where Norwood got her love of science. She recalls a time when she was younger and asked her mother, “Why does the moon shine?” Instead of a watered down answer, Norwood wanted the scientific, logical explanation! She had always had a curious mind and a vibrant personality. However, her personality was too vibrant to pursue a career as a scientist. She claims that it was too “isolated” for her. Meteorology gives Norwood the best of both worlds, as she is able to express her love of science in an involved way and in one that affects her, her family, and other Louisianans. What keeps her going is the unknown and its excitement. She finds joy knowing that there is something new to be learned everyday.