Yolanda Robinson Finds her Voice at MCCC
Windsor, N.J. - By day, she works for the state as a machine
information systems technical assistant. But the rest of the
time, alumna Yolanda Robinson '05 (Office Systems Technology),
of Trenton, is a motivational speaker, a professional life
coach, a youth mentor, a radio talk show host, a television
personality and an author.
Robinson says she doesn't believe in shortcuts. "You
need to work hard in order to be successful, get what you
want, and fulfill your dreams. I encourage people to believe
that they are worthy of God's gifts by teaching them how to
recognize obstacles, overcome them, and celebrate life whether
their achievements are big or small."
Robinson's book "Don't Be Bitter, Be Better" will
soon be published through Amazon. It sums up many of the lessons
she has learned throughout life, lessons that she imparts
in an empowerment segment that airs daily at 5:20 p.m. on
the Trenton-based radio station WIMG 1300 AM and on the show
she hosts with special guests from the community, "In
the Public Interest," which airs on Tuesdays. She also
hosts a third show, the community-based awareness program
"On the Reel Radio/TV," which airs Thursdays at
10 p.m. on the local Comcast channel and is heard Friday nights
from 8 to 10 p.m. on WIFI 1460AM. She just added a fourth
show, airing twice monthly on WWFM JazzOn2, Mercer's HD station
devoted to jazz music and community news.
Yolanda Robinson is pictured prior to taping a segment for
her newest show, "The Clean-up Woman," on Mercer's
WWFM JazzOn2 (HD) radio station.
message appears to resonate with her growing audience, perhaps
because Robinson herself, now 44, speaks from personal experience.
Divorced and once homeless, she decided it was time to return
to school as an adult and fulfill a delayed dream to continue
her education and bolster her resume. She enrolled at MCCC
that the seeds for attending Mercer were planted when she
was a high school junior in the mid-1980s. "I attended
the college's commencement ceremony. It was so inspiring.
It made me want to go to Mercer," she maintains.
Before choosing Mercer, she did her homework. "I knew
about Mercer's reputation and the worth of a community college
degree. Locally, it's the best place to go. I love Mercer."
Taking classes at both the Trenton and West Windsor campuses,
Robinson says she chose to study Office System Technology
because she knew it was a degree that would pay the bills.
"I had really good professors and I learned a lot."
She also found a helping attitude among professors and staff
that enabled her to thrive. "The professors want to know
what you need help with. They are there to help. They don't
want to see you fail," she says.
As Robinson began to earn good grades, her confidence grew.
A public speaking course proved particularly pivotal. She
recalls her case of nerves the first time she had to speak
in front of the class. She didn't think she could do it, but
she turned out to be a natural.
"Mercer was so enlightening for me. It provided me with
opportunities to do things I never thought I would be able
to do," she says. She clearly believes it will do the
same for her daughters, who both attend MCCC.
Robinson continued for her bachelor's degree in Hospitality
Management through the Fairleigh Dickinson University program
offered on the MCCC campus and online. She graduated in 2008.
Now, as Robinson works full time and juggles speaking engagements
and other activities through her mentoring business "Living
a Powerful Life Inc., and In Her-Shoes," she says she
takes great satisfaction from offering advice and talking
to people about improving their lives. "I base some of
my advice on Christian teachings and some on good old common
sense. I call it the Sesame Street method. I am teaching,
but people don't realize they just learned something they
On her radio programs, Robinson interviews regular people
dealing with everyday issues - single parents, community leaders,
and those who have faced adversity. She helps them to be more
comfortable as they speak to her about their lives. "People
are happy at the end of the interview. I make it easy. Even
sad things, we turn them around. We celebrate what's good.
That doesn't take away from the difficult issues, it just
helps people to get through them."
Robinson's newest on-air venture, "The Clean-up Woman,"
airs every other Saturday at 11 a.m. on WWFM's JazzOn2 (HD).
She explains that the show literally focuses on cleaning house
and also takes on broader topics such as health, credit and
life in general. "There are so many topics to cover,"
she says enthusiastically.
As Robinson notes in her book, "If you yearn for an empowered
life grounded in passion and purpose, it's entirely up to
you to make the effort. It's all about treating time as a
precious commodity, seeing the big picture, and defining a
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