Yvette Barrios (BS, mechanical engineering, 2003) is a survivor. A single mother, she has experienced athletic success, health challenges and an impressive career.
Barrios grew up in Texas. As a prospective college student, she had multiple scholarship offers to play women’s basketball and compete in track. A campus visit convinced her to choose basketball and Boise State.
“When I arrived on campus, it just felt like home,” Barrios said.
She was a starting point guard for the Broncos from 1997-2000 and a member of the 1997-1998 team that went to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, taking second, but becoming Eastern Division champions.
After graduation, Barrios served on the College of Engineering’s advisory board.
“Boise State University and my engineering degree have taught me the essentials to solve any issue,” she said.
In her professional life, she has conducted biomedical engineering research and held positions at Lockheed Martin in Texas and at Motive Power in Boise. She eventually joined the tech industry as a program manager and research design engineer with Hewlett-Packard.
“Yvette brings her extensive knowledge and experience to her volunteer positions with the Boise State College of Engineering,” said JoAnn Lighty, dean of the college. “We’re fortunate to have her as an alum, a student mentor and a member of our advisory board.”
Barrios has persevered through setbacks. In February 2019, two weeks after her 40th birthday, she experienced three debilitating strokes. With sheer persistence and the help of friends and mentors at Boise State, she said, she made her way back to physical and mental health. She landed a senior program manager position with Amazon in Seattle, where her career thrives today. Her son, Ty Barrios, serves in the U.S. Army.
“Boise State is more than just an education. You can meet some amazing people and get a forever family, and any other institution can’t match the overall value,” she said.
By Andrew Gauss