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Mission Award Spotlight: Karla Ballard Williams '90

Congratulations to our inaugural recipients of the Alumni Mission Award! We are proud to officially honor them during GA/PCDay & Alumni Weekend. Please enjoy reading excerpts from their nominations to see how they are all Independent in Thought, Confident in Expression, Compassionate in Spirit, Collaborative in Action, and Honorable in Deed. 

Each day, GA will feature a separate Mission Award winner with an online story. All five of the Mission Award winners will be honored throughout the weekend, including the All Alumni party at MaGerk's Pub & Grill on Saturday, November 9 (4-7pm).


Leaving a successful career in the banking industry, Karla took a leap of faith and began service work by starting a chapter of the Urban League, an organization aimed at empowering people of color to achieve economic self-reliance, equality, power, and civil rights. She took that experience with her when she went to work as the Senior Vice President of Participant Media’s TAG Division, a social action agency working with brands, foundations, and the public sector to ignite compelling campaigns to drive impact in vulnerable communities. Combining her business acumen and service work, Karla then created her own company and mobile app, YING, which is designed to help lower income communities use skill sharing and trading as currency. YING’s mission is to demonstrate that money shouldn’t be the only determining factor in what people have access to – that you can “skill share” to acquire your needs AND build community at the same time. Karla has also been active in working to raise awareness of the effects of PTSD on our veterans. Never one to sit and wait for things to happen, Karla has jumped into action by collaborating with Blue Star Families, a national non-profit dedicated to strengthening America’s military families through community, on utilizing YING to help them gain access to programs and support when funds aren’t available.