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Yolanda Oliver

The Links

African American news from Pasadena -  Women of AchievementYolanda Oliver is the current President of the Pasadena, Altadena Chapter of the The Links. She describes The Links as a "Women's Service Organization with a motto that says they are a sisterhood of friends providing service to the community." Born in Chicago, Illinois, Yolanda is a scientist who graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelors in Computer Science before working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) in Pasadena. She holds a Masters of Business Administration.

She spent 28 years at JPL where she reached the level of manager in the data processing lab providing critical work developing programs to collect data for the space program. In 2005 she left JPL to join her husband, Andrew Oliver, in the family construction and development business, Oliver and Associates. She also provides consulting services to companies needing assistance and expertise in the compliance requirements of government contracting.

Oliver is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Council of Black Professional Engineers and AKA, to name a few of her activities. The former president of AKA is proud of the work The Links do in mentoring and providing scholarships to young women. The organization also is involved in health care programs where the organization's members volunteer to assist with problems related to Alzheimers, obesity, and other health issues.

Oliver was almost lost in the mix when she was recruited by the Affirmative Action Department of JPL. She almost didn't get an interview because they assumed that since she had graduated from the prestigious Bradley University, she must be white. She is not and was determined to work in California after growing up in cold Chicago. This math and science whiz admits that when she came to Pasadena for her interview in November and experienced the sunny California weather, she would have taken any job rather than go back to Chicago.

 

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