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Inspiring Conversations with Deidra O’Neal of YBS Kids

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deidra O’Neal.

Hi Deidra, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As the CEO and Founder of YBS Kids, I am an enthusiastic person who enjoys being an inspiration to others and positively impacting my community. I am a proud graduate of an HBCU, where I majored in Hotel & Restaurant Management, later earning my Masters of Science Degree in Non-Profit Management at OLLU at San Antonio. Besides the work I do with YBS Kids, I also work full time with PISD while raising my family. Growing up in the inner city of Los Angeles, the exposure to the many learning opportunities allowed me to form connections and explore interests that shaped my future. Now, as a wife and a mother of four raising my family in suburban America, I realize that my children lack the cultural knowledge, self-pride, and necessary life skills that living in the inner-city offers. This realization led me to establish YBS Kids in 2019.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting YBS Kids was a beautiful accomplishment, and it has enabled me to provide much-needed knowledge to the disadvantaged and privileged children of suburban communities. One of my biggest challenges was promoting a newly established organization just when a global pandemic emerged—the beginning of social distancing and working remotely became our new regular. However, the pandemic of 2020 empowers me to find solutions to unexpected challenges and become creative in cultivating impactful programs and activities for our young children and youth virtually.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about YBS Kids?
YBS Kids is an established non-profit and public charitable organization dedicated to connecting and teaching young, Black, and suburban kids ranging from grades 3rd-12th to be inspired, empowered, and able to embrace their culture for a better future. YBS Kids Black Culture and Life Skills Enrichment Program is dedicated to empowering children and youth to learn more about their rich heritage and promote self-confidence and cultural pride. Our life skill enrichment activities following the Collin County academic calendar, allowing members to engage in college and career readiness, life-skills training, and volunteer opportunities in a fun learning environment.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My first advice to anyone starting a business is don’t be afraid to trust your God-given gifts. Secondly, set short and long-term goals for yourself, accomplish them, and set new ones. Lastly, when you learn something new, act on it immediately; do not wait!

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