TD Bank Spotlights a South Carolina Educator for National Black Business Month

Originally published at TD Bank ranked No. 13 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.


When Helen Barnes was in college, she did a short volunteer stint at a local daycare center. After only four hours, she vowed never to go back.

“It was dark, it was dank, it was scary and I thought it was a horrible way to educate children,'” said the woman who holds a master’s degree in education and now has more than 28 years of experience in early childhood development.

It’s that experience and her passion for inspiring and educating young children that’s driven her ever since that shocking experience so many years ago. In her almost three decades as an educator, Helen’s been a strong advocate for doing what’s right, always with the students’ and teachers’ best interests at heart.

It hasn’t always been a smooth road for Helen as the owner and operator of The Academy of Young Scholars in Rock Hill, SC. She’s had to adapt and rely on others for support, especially during the height of the Covid pandemic and afterwards. But Helen never gives up, and she’s continuing to succeed even with all the challenges.