Sybil Yastrow’s early memories are of her grandparents relating the hardships of growing up in a non-democratic country, and how they valued their freedom as United States citizens. Sybil inherited her grandparents’ love for the American way of life. Sybil remembers that they were always involved in their community, giving to and helping others. This was her model growing up and it continues to inspire Sybil’s adult life.
As a young wife and mother, Sybil became actively involved in the League of Women Voters at the local and state levels. This experience exposed her to the dynamics of government not taught in civics classes and, more importantly, from a nonpartisan point of view. Sybil’s work for the League of Women Voters reinforced what she learned from her grandparents — that Americans’ right to vote and to participate in our government is a true gift. Sybil states, “It is sad that people throughout the world can’t share this gift; it’s equally sad that so many people in our country don’t take advantage of it.”
Throughout her life, Sybil has continued to be actively involved in many organizations — educational, environmental, cultural, civic, and religious, to mention only a few. Each of these provided her with opportunities to give back to others, as a leader and an advocate, and Sybil knows that would make her grandparents proud. Sybil and her husband encourage their children and grandchildren to have similar values.
Sybil reflects on her right–and privilege–to vote: “I value the freedom I have as a U.S. citizen to make choices and to exercise my voice at the polls. The results aren’t always as I would wish, but even that is what democracy is all about.”