Yolande Beckles

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Yolande Beckles is a British educationalist and businesswoman. She founded Global Graduates in 1998, a company aimed at raising the aspirations of, and teaching soft skills to mainly ethnic minority children, but not solely made up from ethnic minority children. Global Graduates collapsed in 2003.[1] After this, debts of around £125,000 were left unpaid and at least nineteen county court judgments have been lodged against her.[2]

In 2006, she starred in a three-part documentary series called Don't Mess with Miss Beckles which was aired on BBC2. In it, she tried to motivate three secondary school children (one per episode) to achieve more in their academic life. The reaction to the show in the media was polarised, with some praising her message of parental involvement in a child's learning,[3] while others suggested that the show was exploitative [4] and that her approach was tantamount to bullying.[5] One of the parents featured in the show subsequently spoke out about Beckles's 'wholly inappropriate' behaviour.[6] The screening of the program also prompted a number of Beckles's creditors to issue renewed calls for payment.[7] An individual claiming to be a friend of a creditor has since set up a website to monitor her activities.[8]

Yolande Beckles is currently in Los Angeles, where she has set up an educational program called Think Global Kids [9] and been elected to a volunteer seat on the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood council.

She was born in London in 1962 to parents of Trinidadian origin. She has two siblings, Brian and Hermione, and two children, Diandra and Euan.[10]

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