Tredyffrin Township school board candidate Yolanda Allen is Director of Workforce Career Services for NJ and works in youth ministry.
Yolanda Allen is a candidate for the Tredyffrin Township School District Board of Directors and is Director of Workforce Career Services for the state of New Jersey. (SAS Becker Photography)
Pennsylvania's Primary Election is May 18. Dr. Yolanda Allen, a candidate for the Tredyffrin Township School District Board of Directors, lives in the township with her family, serves in youth ministry at her church, and directs workforce and career service for the state of New Jersey.
She explained why she is running for election.
Name: Dr. Yolanda H. Allen
Position Sought: Tredyffrin Township School District Board Director for Region 1
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Family: Husband, two teenage daughters, 13 and 14 years old, and two cats, Percy and Shiloh.
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?: No.
Education: Doctorate degree in Public Administration, master's degree in Social and Political Ethics, bachelor's degree in Speech Communications.
Occupation: Director of Workforce Career Services for the State of New Jersey.
In this role, I direct federal and state-funded employment and training programs for young people, adults, and dislocated workers. Additionally, I oversee state-funded adult education and family literacy programs, and New Jersey's 23 One-Stop Career Centers. I have more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofits, community-based organizations, and public sector organizations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California.
Why are you seeking elective office?:
My husband and I moved to the Tredyffrin/Easttown community 14 years ago to raise our family. It was one of the best decisions we made as a family. I want to give back a small portion of what our community has given to us. If elected, I want to use my expertise and experience to be an advocate for young people and families in our community, as I have been for young people and families throughout my life and career.
The single most pressing issue facing our state/nation is: I believe a safe and full reopening of our schools is the single most pressing issue facing our school board. If we are to preserve the excellence of our schools, our school Board must support those students who benefit from the online learning structure; and work with those students who are having a more difficult time. We must reestablish an educational framework for our children that they and their parents can believe in. If elected, I will be an advocate for the needs of our students. Because we are still in the grips of this pandemic, we do not fully understand the economic impact this pandemic will have on the health and wellness of our school district. When decisions are made, my promise is to be a strong advocate for what's in the best interest of all of our students. Additionally, I intend to do my part by encouraging those within my circle of influence to follow the Center for Disease Control recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. That includes making sure those in my family are vaccinated.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?: I am a highly experienced, organized professional who believes we must engage students, parents, staff, administrators, and community stakeholders on issues that matter to them and work with those individuals to envision solutions that we all can believe in. In addition, I believe that we must be able to take a step back and evaluate what works, and have a willingness to adjust when the need arises. That is the leadership approach I have used for 20 years in my professional career. That is the approach I intend to take if elected to the board.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the school district. It is hard to predict the long-term financial impact the pandemic will have on the health and wellness of our district. However, I believe that when we are faced with tough budgetary decisions, we must ensure that every child has an equal chance for academic and socio-emotional success. Along with the issues of equity, I believe the Board should exercise fiscal discipline to ensure that the taxpayers' dollars are spent appropriately to benefit the educational needs of our children.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?: I have previous experience administering the Philadelphia WorkReady program, where I worked to provide summer youth employment to 10,000 children. I utilized that experience to push for and develop the first summer youth employment program in the State of New Jersey in 10 years. My doctoral dissertation in 2018 focused on the lived experiences of pregnant and parenting teens. I used my research to develop programs to help more teens connect with post-secondary opportunities. When I lead the youth ministry at my church, we started a van ministry to pick up children in the community so that they would have transportation to church on Sunday Mornings. As head of the youth ministry, I expanded the program focus to include children's ministry, teen ministry, and college ministry. Each of these experiences demonstrates my ability to use the information and resources that I had at my disposal to improve or enhances the lives of young people.
The best advice ever shared with me was: Bloom where you are planted.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?: I am a passionate advocate for the emotional, social, and educational well-being of young people. I am equally passionate about ensuring that our community remains a place where our children can return to raise their children. That requires a leader who can listen and navigate multiple, sometimes competing constituencies. My promise is that I will always listen and work with all stakeholders to guide the district with integrity and commitment.
Dr. Yolanda H. Allen's campaign website can be viewed here.
Retrieved and Reposted on 4/15/2021 from https://patch.com/pennsylvania/te/dr-yolanda-allen-brings-admin-experience-tesd-board-candidacy