by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Dawn at Nicoli Photography

Second Chance

volunteer_nyegaard1As CEO of ERISS Corporation, Barbara Nyegaard has more than 20 years of experience working with the U.S. Department of Labor and various federal grant programs and has served hundreds of workforce organizations across the nation. She is using her vast expertise to volunteer for Second Chance, an organization that creates opportunities for people to transform their lives. “Second Chance has programs that provide job readiness and life skills training, along with job placement, mental health and prisoner re-entry services, relapse prevention, and sober-living housing for adults and youth in need. Second Chance fosters behavioral changes that promote personal responsibility, healthy relationships, and positive contributions to society,” explained Barbara.

Barbara is a member of the board of directors of Second Chance and is deeply committed to the organization’s mission. “As a board member, you must have a passion for the mission of the organization. You also must provide oversight of all activities, make decisions in the best interest of the organization and ensure the organization obeys all applicable laws in its operations,” stated Barbara. Although she finds many aspects of volunteering for Second Chance fulfilling and rewarding, she is most proud of her company assisting with software implementation for the organization and helping the staff review and hone their operational processes.


Name: Barbara Nyegaard
Community: San Elijo Hills
Volunteer Affiliation: Second Chance, California Foundation
Profession: CEO, ERISS Corporation
Family: Originally from Australia; two daughters and one beautiful granddaughter
Hobbies: Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, hiking


volunteer_nyegaard2A San Elijo Hills resident, Barbara loves the area for its family-friendly atmosphere, great hiking trails, and close proximity to the beach. Barbara is an avid hiker and practices yoga and meditation. She is a practitioner of mindfulness and Buddhism, both of which she became involved with after her divorce as a way to transition smoothly into a new life. Barbara is also dedicated to her family. “I believe in the strength of family and feel blessed and grateful for my own family. Family is what many of the folks going through Second Chance don’t have, so having caring people support you through your transition is extremely important,” related Barbara. She revealed that although she is divorced, she and her ex-husband are very close and still work together. Barbara also has two daughters and one granddaughter with whom she enjoys spending time.

According to Barbara, while it may surprise some, she was once a professional dancer back in her native Australia with a group called the Rudas Dancers. “The Rudas Dancers were quite a well-known global acrobatic and dance group in the day,” said Barbara with a smile.


Group: Second Chance
Purpose: Providing job and life skills training to at-risk populations in San Diego.
Website: www.secondchanceprogram.org