Yarkenda Payne finds great joy in claiming her southern roots in Adel, Georgia. Yarkenda is an alumna of Georgia Southern University. She holds a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Economic Development and Africana Studies. Yarkenda has co-founded two women empowerment organizations, Women of Worth…Pathways to Confidence and F.I.N.E.S.S.E (Femininity In a New Era Securing Successful Enterprise), on her college campus focused on leadership development, mentorship, and service.
After graduation Yarkenda moved to Philadelphia to complete a service year with City Year. Upon completion of her service year she moved to Denver, Colorado for the Urban Leaders Fellowship Program where she worked with a state senator to draft education legislation to make higher education accessible and afforded for everyone.
Yarkenda is currently a CareerResidency Student Support Specialist. CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program is a youth program through Denver Public Schools dedicated to helping high school students reach their fullest potential by providing academic, professional, and personal support and opportunities. This program represents a significant shift in educational and training paradigms by preparing students beyond academics. Students are placed in apprenticeships and college classes throughout the year.
She is always seeking new opportunities to grow including her recent completion of the Urban Leadership Foundation- Chamber Connect, and active involvement with the community through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Incorporated, Denver’s African American Commission, and Denver’s Urban League of Young Professionals. In her self-care time you will find her submerged in a good book or trying a new brunch spot around the city. Yarkenda looks forward to what life has in store for her. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Strategic Management.