mission to mentor
with an adopt-a-grandparent program.
After graduating in 1983, she worked
12-plus hours per day as a research analyst in Boston, but still had the energy to
answer calls on a parental stress hotline
from 9 p.m. until midnight.
Youngentob says she’s learned that
people too often think they need to do
something big to make an impact, but
small, personal connections can make a
di;erence, such as providing a ride, conducting an internet search, or creating a
spending budget for someone in need.
Gaining access to a college, a computer,
a car and a credit card—resources that
are often taken for granted—is a huge
obstacle for many, she’s found.
“I am who I am today because of the
ZIP code I was born in and I was born
to two parents who went to college,”
Youngentob says. “I worked hard and
I didn’t screw up. I’m not better than
anyone else. I just got such a leg up of
Youngentob, who says she’s “always
been a problem solver,” graduated from
Brown with a degree in systems analy-
sis and design, a major she created by
combining operations research, engi-
neering, computer science, economics
and accounting. After working for two
years as an analyst, she earned an MBA
at Harvard, where she met her husband,
Bob, a fellow MBA student who’s now
president and CEO of E YA, a residential
real estate company based in Bethesda
that he co-founded.
YOUNGENTOB AND HER HUSBAND
moved to Montgomery County in 1987,
and she continued to climb the corpo-
rate ladder in telecommunications and
information technology consulting until
a series of events led her to reorient her
life more toward serving others.
In 1991, Youngentob chaired Mitzvah
Day at Washington Hebrew Congregation in the District, organizing about
1,000 volunteers to work on projects
ranging from cleaning up parks to
making food for the homeless. She noted
the impact the volunteer work had on
recipients and the sense of community
and purpose that the event fostered
among those at her temple.
Two years later, Youngentob, then 32,
was seriously injured in a bicycling acci-
dent, shattering her elbow and breaking
her shoulder. ;e long recovery led to a
realization that her job wasn’t “warm-
ing her heart.” She found she was more
motivated to help others than to return
to work. “It gave me the vision to get o;
the fast track,” says Youngentob, whose
daughters were 10 months and 4 years old
when she had the accident. “I had been
on this high-achieving path all my life. I
thought, ‘Do I really have to do this?’ ”
At the time, Youngentob says there
was tremendous pressure for female
Harvard MBA grads to show the world
that women could have it all. After the
accident, she reassessed her situation.
“I figured, instead, I’d live my life in
chunks. If I couldn’t have it all, I’d live
each chunk of life and experience it to
the fullest, knowing it wasn’t going to
last forever,” Youngentob says.
;en, in 1999, a good friend of Youngentob’s, Randi Waxman, died suddenly
at age 35. ;e high-powered attorney-turned-business law professor had told
Youngentob about how rewarding it
was to mentor low-income students. “I
got a sign from God during her funeral
that my job was to continue her work,”
says Youngentob, who was moved by the
diverse range of people Waxman had
touched and who filled the Washington
Hebrew Congregation for her funeral.
Community service has been a part
of every phase of her life. “It gives
my life meaning,” Youngentob says.
Youngentob with her dogs, Abby
(left) and Fenway, at the C&O
Canal, one of her favorite places