From YWCA to EmBe, Carol Spader’s Story

Carol Spaders’s connection to EmBe began in childhood, when she was attending swimming lessons every Saturday at the YWCA (now EmBe).

“Finances were tight,” Carol said, recalling her father’s diagnosis with a neurological disorder and ultimately, his death in her teenage years. “I think my mother looked for free or inexpensive experiences in the community. Hoping that she might instill a vision in her girls to go further than she could.” Carol continued.

Early in Carol’s career in community development, she was invited to serve on the YWCA Board. During her time on the board, Carol learned the importance of community involvement, committee involvement, meeting protocol and committee planning.

“I was honored about joining the board. I liked the mission of helping children, families and especially developing young women into leaders.” Carol said.

Carol says serving on the YWCA board helped her to find her voice. Carol believes that if you want a certain quality of life in your community, then you must be passionate about that in your own life and be willing to help others achieve it as well.

“When individuals know what their lives can look like and then are intentional about building and contributing to that, dreams come true!”

In recent years, Carol has continued to find her voice, direction and focus as an entrepreneur through participating as a Girls on the Run volunteer, through EmBe’s Ink Your Dreams and In Her Shoes Empowerment breakfasts.

“I realize now that Girls on the Run helped me crystalize what my personal and professional mission is today,” Carol said.

The historical legacy of the YWCA has always been to serve women and families. Carols says as women, our journey to becoming our best includes an enhanced understanding that when we bring our best selves to work, life and family, our community thrives.

“Looking at EmBe’s programming, you see that this is at the center of their mission,” she concluded.


About EmBeCause Giving Day: EmBeCause Giving Day makes it easy for you to invest in empowering women and families in Sioux Falls and beyond. On Tuesday, July 7, share your empowering stories about why you support EmBe or how EmBe has made a difference in your life, or consider donating.

Share your because with us on social media all day long by using the hashtag #EmBeCause.

Donations made are unrestricted gifts to the annual fund, allowing EmBe to meet its most urgent needs, including program scholarships, technological needs, staff development and facilities improvements. Donations also keep programs affordable and available to anyone who’d like to participate – regardless of ability to pay. Click here to make a donation.

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