by amy lehrer | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Barbara Leader and her husband Ron moved to Rancho Peñasquitos to raise their three children. Having grown up in a small farming town in Minnesota, Barbara appreciated the fact that living in Rancho Peñasquitos felt like living in a small town within a big city. The unparalleled parent involvement at Park Village Elementary School made her feel at home; it was as if she was once again attending the same school her parents and older siblings had attended. She was proud that Park Village Elementary was one of the first elementary schools to create a foundation to provide extra programs for the children. She and her husband still cherish their decision to move to Rancho Peñasquitos because their children attended excellent schools, participated in YMCA programs and their family made lifelong friends within the community.

Outside of school, Barbara’s children attended their local YMCA. Due to her children participating in various sports programs and the Y guides, she explained, “It was a natural progression to move from an involved parent to a volunteer at the Y.” She participated in the Partner with Youth campaign for three years, served on the golf fundraiser committee and supported the Y by attending dinners and auctions. She reminisced, “In the beginning, it became a great way for a group of my girlfriends and me to spend the day together and give back to our community.”

Now, as a board member, she serves on the golf committee that is responsible for running a golf tournament each May, with this year’s tournament taking place on May 13. Her main responsibility on the committee is to coordinate the volunteers needed to run the tournament. The money raised at the tournament and via the Partner with Youth campaign allows low income families to participate in the Y programs. This year Barbara surpassed her personal pledge goal, managing to raise nearly $5K. She revealed, “I feel great giving back to my community and setting an example for my own kids to follow.”

Partly because she grew up in a large family comprised of seven children, Barbara embraces activities that support her family. She takes numerous sports photos and creates end of the season DVD shows for each of her children’s sports teams. And as a family, they enjoy camping and spending time outdoors. They regularly visit Canyonside Park with a hike to the local waterfall as an added perk each time they blaze the trail.

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Name:  Barbara Ann Leader
Age:  45
Community:  Park Village
Volunteer Affiliation:  Rancho Family YMCA
Occupation:  Director of Information Technology for CareFusion
Family:  Husband – Ron, married 21 years;
Children – Kaylee (17), Dustin (14) and Makenna (10)

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Name of Group:  Rancho Family YMCA
Group’s Purpose:  The Rancho Family YMCA is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of spirit, mind and body.
Contact Information:  858-484-8788,