Scottdale native Yake to share stories from Southwestern sports history
A native son who has reached great heights in a journalism career and now has a second career in helping to teach children to write, will entertain audiences at West Overton Museum on Sunday.
D. Byron Yake will give an autobiographical talk related to his career when he presents: “Sports and World News” from 2 to 4 p.m. at West Overton Village & Museums. Yake will be the third and final speaker in West Overton's 2013-2014 “Parlor Talk” series.
“Southwestern Pennsylvania is full of sports fans and Byron Yake will certainly interest all of the sports fans out there. At the same time, he will also be an inspiration to those who are seeking a career in journalism. So, be sure to join us,” said Jessica Kadie Barclay, managing director, West Overton Village & Museums.
He got his start in the newspaper business as a carrier for the Daily Courier as a young boy living in Scottdale.
“I covered Market Street and Walnut Street and at one point I built it up to 90 subscriptions,” Yake said.
Yake graduated from Scottdale High School in 1957 then went on to graduate from Goshen College in Indiana. He started his career in journalism at the Mt. Pleasant Journal where he was editor from 1963 to 1968.
“I loved working in Mt. Pleasant and getting to know a small town inside and out. It was a great foundation for me and I'll always treasure it. It got me into the news business,” Yake said.
Yake left the Journal to work for the Associated Press in Pittsburgh. After covering general news there for about a year, Yake covered the AP Sports desk there for three years then went back to covering general news before moving into management.
He spent 10 years at the Pittsburgh news bureau and eventually ran that bureau before he was promoted to New Jersey bureau chief. He held that position for two years, then became the AP's general sports editor overseeing all AP sports stories worldwide. He held that position for five years. He also held a variety of other management and executive positions throughout the 25 years he spent in the New York office.
Yake retired in 2005, but he did not rest on his laurels. He founded a nonprofit organization Write on Sports Inc. of which he is executive director.
“When I retired I tried to figure out how I wanted to contribute and I figured if I could teach kids to write about sports, maybe I could make a difference in their lives,” he said.
The organization offers summer camps and after-school programs designed to inspire students to write by utilizing their passion for sports and providing them with a set of skills that can be applied to academic areas beyond sports writing. Yake said there is a four or five to one student to teacher ratio.
“We take them from where they are and try to take them to the next step,” he said. “The goal is to serve as many disadvantaged kids as we can, but it's not exclusively for disadvantaged kids.”
While the program Yake created helps others, he said he feels lucky to have this as a second career that gives him great joy.
“The opportunity to have a second career where I can pull in all of my interests and hobbies and passions, how fortunate am I to be able to do that,” he said.
Yake said his talk at West Overton will consist of stories about his life and career, and he will talk about his nonprofit organization.
“Hopefully, the audience will find some meaningful aspect, because I think everyone should give back to their community in whatever way they can and I hope that message comes across,” he said.
While in the area, Yake will share his knowledge with local students. He said he will be visiting journalism classes at Southmoreland and Mt. Pleasant high schools on Monday.
West Overton Parlor Talks are sponsored by the Scottdale Bank & Trust Co. Those who are attending are asked to make a donation at the door on the day of the event.
Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police look for Derry driver who crashed into house
- North Huntingdon man pleads guilty in road rage case
- Victims sue North Fayette bar, gunman, mother in fatal shooting
- New Stanton to craft comprehensive plan to prove borough ‘more than’ turnpike exit
- Western Pa. Operation Nighthawk traffic patrol yields 38 arrests
- Lawyer claims medical issues kept Sewickley Township man from contempt hearing
- Monessen man’s homicide trial set
- Former Jeannette man sentenced for claw hammer attack
- Mt. Pleasant police chief Ober retires
- Radiation measuring device triggered by load at Yukon facility
- Forbes: Westmoreland Fair continues through Saturday