The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2017 ATHENA® Awards. We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Thursday, March 30th, 2017 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
So come back often and you’ll learn what it means to be an Athena. And be sure to save the date – March 30 – to attend the awards luncheon.
Interested in attending the ATHENA Luncheon on Thursday, March 30th? Click here to register.
Yvonne Minor-Ragan, Ph.D. is founder, president and chief executive officer of YMRagan Consulting, LLC, which was organized to fill the gap between need and skill sets of cultural competency, effective leadership, strategic and organizational planning. Previously, as president of Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Dr. Ragan led the efforts of a unique public/private partnership to improve educational and developmental outcomes of children within the 14215 ZIP code. The former principal of Westminster Community Charter School, Dr. Ragan is recognized as an influential academic and community leader.
First Job Out of School
As Dr. Ragan tells it: “I was an English Literature major when I graduated from undergrad school. I had no direction and had no leads for employment. I heard an advertisement on the radio for substitute teachers. I applied and was assigned to an upper grade special needs class with all boys! Needless to say, that was tough! It was at that point that I decided to specialize in teaching younger children.”
Dr. Ragan says a highlight of her career was helping to motivate a young lady to engage in introspection and move toward organizing her goals and fulfilling her dreams. When Dr. Ragan met her, the woman had a high school diploma, yearned to accomplish more but did not have a sense of direction. Dr. Ragan coached her to earn her Associates Degree, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in the field of computer science. She is proud to say that the woman now works at NASA!! A second highlight is leading the project of building a much needed state-of-the-art early childhood center for Buffalo Promise Neighborhood in 2014.
On Buffalo Niagara
“This region is a little big town. While considered a relatively small region, it has all of the advantages of a big city. A fantastic cultural scene with a world renown symphony orchestra, Fine Arts Museums, Shea’s Performing Arts Theater, a vibrant sports scene, a rebounding economic picture and residents who care!”
Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career
Go with your passion! (Offered by her mom)
About Being an Athena Finalist
“Only the most accomplished, influential women of the Buffalo Niagara Region have been nominated and selected to be recipients of the coveted and distinguished ATHENA award. So, when I received the email and learned that I was nominated for the award, I felt really honored that someone would consider me worthy of this recognition and take the time to complete the application about my work. What was even better was for the selection committee to deem that my work qualified me to be a finalist. To say that I am ecstatic does not do justice to how I feel. I am proud to say that I have the honor of joining the group of finalists!”