Letter from Young Leaders Co-Chairs

young leader cochairs allison reich and kyle roggenburkEngagement and growth were the driving themes in 2016. The future continues to shine bright thanks to the sustained effort, hard work and dedication put forth by our Young Leaders Cabinet and most importantly… YOU!  Our collective effort has helped improve the lives of more than 450,000 Greater Clevelanders this year –and we are eternally grateful for your support.

We see great opportunities to consistently identify new and unique ways for young professionals to enhance their engagement through United Way as we think ahead to 2017 and beyond. Your continued support and volunteerism will make a lasting impact on the basic needs of our community.

Successes in 2016

Young Leaders literally hit the road this year in the newly designed UWYL van, hosting pop-up volunteer events at community locations. We stopped by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland with the van filled with fun playground equipment. Other notable successes in 2016 included our:

  • Investment in our first Readers become Leaders reading space at Superior Elementary school in East Cleveland this November. Readers become Leaders purpose is to help students read at grade level by third grade and beyond. The reading space is complete with bookshelves, books, bean bag chairs, mats and classroom reading materials. Each student in the school also received a literacy pack with books and more.
  • Exclusive Speaker Series with P. Kelly Tompkins, CFO of Cliffs Natural Resources; Scott Wolstein, CEO of Starwood Retail Partners;  Augie Napoli, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland; Jason Rudman, Executive Vice President of KeyBank; and Tom Snowberger, Chief Human Resource Officer at University Hospitals.
  • Monthly volunteer projects at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland.
  • Networking events at places like Butcher and the Brewer, Shooters on the Water and Portside Distillery.
  • Our successful and most-attended Fall Ball yet, Rock the Night Away, which raised a record-setting $56,000.

Several leading Cleveland-based organizations have committed to expanding the footprint of the United Way Young Leaders, through empowering their own young professionals to truly lead the philanthropic engagement from within their respective companies.

Looking to the Future

There is infinite potential to the amazing things we, as young professionals, can do to move this community forward. We believe that our successes to-date will quickly be overshadowed by the incredible contributions that Young Leaders will make in the coming years.

The mission of Young Leaders is to have a positive and lasting influence on the lives of others. What we’ve realized is that even though our work is directed at others, we’ve received a strong sense of personal achievement and reward that has given us joy and fulfillment. We’re grateful for having had the opportunity to play a small part in such a wonderful organization and we thank you sincerely for your ongoing support of United Way of Greater Cleveland. So let’s take a breath during the holiday season, spend valuable time with family and friends and get ready for the next chapter of our collective success that will most definitely impact the Cleveland area. All the best to you and yours throughout this holiday season!

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