Yvonne Howze is passionate about mentoring and coaching others to achieve their goals. She thinks of herself as ”Howze University,” and, to her, success is ”when someone I’ve worked with calls me to say thank you or tells me about something fantastic that has happened to them because of their association with me.”
Along with her full-time work with the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, Yvonne runs her own leadership development company, and volunteers in a variety of capacities, from working with people who have Alzheimer’s, to serving as a Big Sister with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. ”Serving people is my calling,” says Yvonne. ”In every one of my efforts, I operate with a high level of commitment and an eye on learning. The differences I have made that are most memorable and have the longest-lasting impact have been those that helped me grow as a person, but more importantly, made me humble.”
Her fellowship gave her a variety of learning experiences and had a lasting impact on her personally and professionally. Says Yvonne, ”I was the Fellow in Group 15 who went kicking and screaming on international trips. I thought, ’There are enough issues in the United States to keep all of us busy for years.’ But going to various parts of the world to hear stories of people from all walks of life humbled me. I have used everything I learned from the Kellogg experience in some form or fashion.”
Yvonne describes herself as a strategist. ”I work diligently all the time to plan, prepare, and persevere,” she says. This approach helps her to plan ahead to avoid crises. She says, ”There are always urgent situations to be dealt with in a timely manner, but even so, I merely look at my hands to confirm that I only have two of them.” She also adds, ”I’ve found that my most effective approach to all aspects of my life is simply my daily prayer, which goes something like this: ’Thank you God for everything, I have NO complaints whatsoever. And, I always expect and rely on miracles.’”
Yvonne Howze was interviewed in July 2006.