2016 Ketteler Award for Social Justice
The Sisters of Divine Providence presented the Ketteler Award for Social Justice to Linda Yankoski, CSFN.
A member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Sister Linda Yankoski serves as the President and CEO of Holy Family Institute (HFI) in Pittsburgh. Her 40+ year career with the nonprofit organization began in 1975 when she was assigned as a social work intern. In 1988, she was named executive director of the institute and in 2001, its president.
From its roots in the Catholic orphanage system at the turn of the last century, HFI has evolved into a social services agency that provides help, healing, hope and support to children and families in western Pennsylvania. Each year, it serves more than 11,000 families and children.
As HFI president, Sister Linda has implemented a violence prevention initiative and established a workforce development program. Following the 2010 Haitian earthquake, she was instrumental in providing temporary housing and developing a comprehensive program—including preschool and elementary education—to help young Haitian refugees. In 2011, the institute launched an international college preparatory program, through which dozens of international students now live on its campus and study at local Catholic high schools. In 2012, HFI implemented a new approach to residential treatment, designed to help reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders. In August 2014, a new Catholic high school, Holy Family Academy, opened its doors to students to prepare young people to be successful in life and work.
Active in many professional and community organizations, Sister Linda is on the board of Catholic Charities USA; Council on Accreditation, New York; and is an emeritus member of the Duquesne University Board of Trustees and the Mentoring Partnership Board of Trustees. She has served on a number of other boards: Community at Holy Family Manor, Pittsburgh; Kearns Spirituality Center, Allison Park; Suburban General Hospital, Pittsburgh; Mercy Hospital, Altoona; and Families International, Milwaukee.
Sister Linda graduated summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in social work, from the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a master’s in administration from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in education from Duquesne University. Her research interests include nonprofit governance, leadership, and organizational development. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her accomplishments. To name a few, she was presented with the Social Service Award from the Turkish Cultural Center in November 2015; inducted into the Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne Alumni in October 2013; recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement in August 2011 for her work with the Haitian Orphans; and presented the Campfire USA award in 2007, the “Champions for Children” award from the Homeless Children’s Education Fund in 2004, the Carlow “Woman of Spirit” award in 2001 and the “Manifesting the Kingdom” service award from the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1999.