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PYSK: Barbie Banks

Adult enrichment coordinator, Professional & Community Education, Columbia Area Career Center

age: 29
years here: Six
originally from: Pevely, MO

job description

I organize all the adult enrichment classes for the Columbia Area Career Center, which includes recruiting instructors, developing class ideas, interacting with students and managing the day-to-day happenings of the program. If you haven’t taken a class with us, you definitely should. Keep an eye out for our new catalogs—they’re coming to mailboxes in January.


I earned my bachelor’s degree in social science and education from William Woods University in 2005, and then went on to obtain my master’s degree in social work policy, planning and administration at the University of Missouri in 2010.

community involvement

I am Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Co-Chair of the Changing the Odds Committee for the Women’s Network, Chair of the Missouri Adult Community Education Coordinators Consortium and am still involved with my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. Meeting the people of Columbia is one of my favorite parts about living here and I like to attend as many community events as possible. All the happenings in the city give me inspiration for class ideas.

a columbia businessperson i admire and why

Two people come to mind when talking about Columbians I admire. Leigh Britt, from the City of Columbia, taught me a lot in the time I interned at her office. She manages people with kindness, trust and efficiency.  The second person is Allison Skare from Senator McCaskill’s office. Allison has more passion than anyone I know. She is a strong, feminist woman and I admire so much about her.

why i’m passionate about my job

I think community education empowers people to be lifelong learners. It provides individuals with new skills and knowledge that can improve their lives. It’s also important in that it connects the school districts with the rest of the community. I love my job—it’s always interesting and always rewarding.

what people should know about this profession

That we are always looking for new and exciting class ideas.  If you have a passion, skill or hobby that you would like to share, I would love to meet and discuss how we can create a class. We teach all sorts of subjects—no idea is too outlandish for us.

a favorite recent project

I recently finished planning the spring semester course offering. It is a great time to meet new instructors and create new classes.  Getting out in the community and finding people to teach their passions is one of the best parts of this job.

what i do for fun

When I have free time I love to bake, dance and be with my family and friends.


I share a wonderful home with my partner, Beth Shepard, our two dogs, Roscoe and Chandler, and our cat, Vintage.

favorite place in columbia

I really like spending time downtown and in my neighborhood.

most people don’t know that i

Want to be mayor of Columbia someday!

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