is originally from Chicago, IL, and is a product of Chicago Public School System.
has been a South Bend resident for over 15 years.
She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
She received her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008.
Previously, Ms. Yolanda Turner-Smith was a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry, working for Honeywell, Inc.
worked on military and commercial aircraft fuel controls in several arenas from design, test, to aftermarket.
This love of engineering, science, and math has kept Yolanda
involved in several organizations who help to increase interest in these areas among high school students.
One organization in particular, National Society of Black Engineers, Yolanda has served on the National and Regional Alumni Board in various capacities.
Yolanda has also served on two local charter school boards (Veritas Academy and Xavier School of Excellence) as President of the Board.
While at Veritas Academy, before serving on the board, she served as President of the Veritas Academy Parent Teacher Organization (VAPTO).
Two of her
children have graduated from Veritas Academy
, and the youngest still attends the school.
is a firm believer in public education and charter schools.
Her two oldest children attend Riley High School, with the oldest graduating this year.
was appointed to the Carousel Family Services Board (the organization that holds the charter for Veritas Academy) and served on that board for several years, including as President of the Board of Trustees.
After leaving the Veritas Board, Yolanda was instrumental in starting a grass-roots movement to create an educational foundation named Indiana Schools of Excellence (ISE) Foundation.
This organization was granted a charter for a K-8 school called Xavier School of Excellence
is now in its second year of operation.
Yolanda still sits as ISE Board President.
She is also partner of All Praise Media.
This firm has two locations in South Bend, IN and Manassas, VA.
The firm specializes in multimedia outsourcing and branding of small to medium-sized companies.
Yolanda is involved in many civic and community organizations, and is a recognized minister in her local church, River of Life Family Church.