Alumna Barbara-Ann Yates attributes Lesley University with having a transformational influence on both her personal and professional success.
Barbara-Ann is an accomplished woman whose career spans education, business and government consulting, as well as public and community service. She is also a proud member and active participant in the University Alumni Council. Barbara-Ann graciously gives back through her alumni service and her philanthropy, and is a member of the Edith Lesley Wolfard Society, having designated Lesley as a beneficiary in her estate plan.
As a young, single mother reaching for a better life, Barbara-Ann first turned to Lesley for the professional opportunities that a college degree would provide.
“Little did I know that at Lesley I would find a warm, welcoming place with excellent faculty where I could breathe, study, and grow,” she notes. “The professors and staff created a climate of support and of understanding that permeated every aspect of my Lesley experience. Sometimes, the smallest kindness has the most impact. Lesley afforded me the flexibility and support to nurture and spend time raising my son while continuing my education and preparing for a career. Those years are some of my most enduring and fondest memories. This environment is part of the Lesley magic.”
Early in her career, Barbara-Ann worked as a special educator providing services to high school students with special needs. “The ‘head and heart’ strategy that I learned at Lesley and used with my students earned me the moniker of ‘Ma’ instead of ‘Ms’,” she warmly recalls.
After leaving teaching when jobs became scarce, Barbara-Ann pursued a master’s degree and moved on to an impressive career in business. Now as a consultant specializing in enterprise-wide security programs in the financial and government sectors, Barbara-Ann feels that her Lesley experience paved the way for her professional success as a teacher and in business. “With both students and clients, my strategic vision helped me to identify innovative and unique near-and-long-term strategies,” says Barbara-Ann, who is currently consulting for the United States Air Force in the area of information protection.
Barbara-Ann hasn’t limited her impact to professional success. True to Lesley’s educational mission, her life has been focused on service to others and the greater community. She was an adult facilitator with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization, taught a self-defense class to women at a local community center and provides pro-bono consulting to a nonprofit that offers low-income, fully-accessible housing for physically handicapped adults.
Barbara-Ann also served on the Town Council in Durham, New Hampshire, was a gubernatorial-appointee to the Judicial Council of New Hampshire, and was the assistant chair to the New Hampshire Republican Party. She also has served as a committee contributor to the New Hampshire Board of Education.
With all of these commitments, Lesley University remains at the top of Barbara-Ann’s priority list. She is a member of the Benefits Committee of the Lesley University Alumni Council. She says of her work on the Council, “I appreciate this opportunity to give back to the Lesley community and I encourage everyone to get involved with the great work that Lesley is doing today through alumni programming.”
As a member of the Edith Lesley Wolfard Society, Barbara-Ann is making sure that future generations of Lesley students receive the same benefits from their education that she did. Barbara-Ann’s planned gift and her annual giving to the Fund for Lesley are a tribute to her education and Lesley’s mission. “I respect and value all that my Lesley years have brought and wish to honor that through my philanthropy.”
Barbara-Ann wants all alumni to know that they can make an impact by contributing to Lesley. “Just as no kindness is too small to have an impact, no contribution is too small,” says Barbara-Ann, who is just beginning to think about retirement but has already remembered Lesley in her estate plan. “It may be easy to become intimidated by large bequests and to feel that a small donation by comparison may not really matter. But at Lesley, every gift matters. Lesley is changing the world by supporting and educating one student at time. I want to be a part of that – one dollar at a time – now and in the future.Fall 2012
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