by Benjamin Gleisser
As director of public policy for the Children’s Aid Society, Yolanda McBride ’94 goes into battle on behalf of children and families who can’t fight for themselves.
The social service organization, which has been serving children from low-income families in New York City for more than 160 years, was faced with proposed state budget cuts in May 2013. The cuts would have closed the agency’s five school-based health centers, which provide services for more than 5,000 youngsters.
McBride conferred with representatives from other social service groups that were also threatened and lobbied New York state and city elected officials. “We won a one-year stay,” she says. “The state is working with us to figure out a solution to our funding situation. This was a huge win for children and families.”
The society was founded in 1853 to help fi nd homes for homeless children. It has been an innovator in children’s services including having the first free school lunch program, the first industrial school for poor children, and the fi rst day care program for working mothers.
McBride, an American studies graduate with a master’s in public administration from New York University, was a member of the Association of Black Collegians and worked with Rexford Ahene, professor of economics, and the late John T. McCartney, associate professor of government and law. As a volunteer, she visited elderly Easton residents who lived alone and tutored school students. She received the Aaron O. Hoff People’s Choice Award.