Randa Ayoub2022 Rising Alumni Award Recipient

Randa Ayoub

Randa Ayoub is the Director of Equity and Culture at the YMCA of the North. She has over ten years of experience in youth development, community development, diversity, equity and inclusion, program and partnership development, operations management, project management, and strategic planning and visioning.

Current Job

Director of Equity and Culture at the YMCA of the North

CEHD Degree

Master of Education, Youth Development Leadership

What is your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

My favorite memory was learning from other professionals in the youth development field outside of my organization. It helped me broaden my perspectives and practices and at times it was really affirming that a lot of the practices and theories I had implemented were best in class. I enjoyed being a leader and a learner.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)?

Professor Terrance Kwame-Ross was my most influential professor during my time at CEHD. I really connected with his teaching style and felt valued as a student. Some of the activities and readings he assigned us still stick with me today. The most significant yet simple thing he taught us was the process of teaching ourselves a new skill. It was nice to have time carved out to pick something I wanted to learn and then actually dedicate time to teaching myself that skill and be able to share about that experience. For that assignment I taught myself how to crochet. The same practices I used for that process are the same practices I use now when I need to learn a new skill.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

I believe humility, patience, and hunger to learn are what is needed for professionals to succeed today. Oftentimes we lose patience and lose our drive. I believe if you keep remembering your "why" and your purpose, you will succeed. Each industry requires a set of hard skills in order to be successful but I think it is important to focus on the soft skills as well. Self awareness and self development will take you very far.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you do?

My friends will laugh at me for saying this but any time I have 30-60 minutes of free time, I try to take a nap.

What's a good book you'd recommend to others?

The Alchemist

What gets you excited about work?

What excites me currently about work are the endless possibilities and changes I can make. There are no limits to what I am allowed to do and I feel very thankful that I am empowered to use my voice and my expertise to create positive change. I continue to strive to make the YMCA an antiracist, anti oppressive organization and continue to live up and empower our up and coming leaders. I am grateful to be able to invest in others the same way I had mentors invest into me. I am excited to be a part of changing a culture and creating a new one that all our team members can strive in.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a teacher. I remember saying that at my kindergarten graduation to my dad who recorded me that day. I essentially became that in my own platform. I have had the opportunity to teach and pour into young people, youth workers, and my peers and I am very thankful for that.