08-17-2016 · Young Professional Leaders

Ivan_YPLIn this month of August, twenty years ago, Atlanta was the center point and focus of the entire world as we hosted the Centennial Olympic Games. As we watch today’s Olympic coverage in Rio, we are seeing new faces making an impact and the rich history of a movement that brings all walks of life together.

While so many are seeing this greatness unfold on an international level, many of us in Atlanta are experiencing something very similar through our own movement… United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Young Professional Leaders.

Young Professional Leaders continues to be a group made up of like-minded, committed Atlanta professionals who have the drive and passion to make a difference in our community. The past Chairs of YPL have all been Atlanta superstars. They have each brought their own vision and personality to growing the organization, while raising the bar of impact year after year. The 2016-2017 YPL Advisory Board is made up of young executives who shine not only in their place of work but also in their philanthropic involvement around Atlanta. YPL will not only continue to build off of the successful efforts that have been implemented, but we are gearing up to make our own impact, with a little sizzle.

A big YPL goal this year is to make a big YPL splash. Yes, let’s make some noise while making a difference. While new milestones continue to be achieved through United Way of Greater Atlanta and Young Professional Leaders, there is still much work to be done. Most of our networks do not realize that homelessness is an issue affecting too many children in Greater Atlanta’s schools. Most of our networks do not realize that the average age of a child being trafficked in Georgia is just 13 years old. Part of our goal is to bring awareness to these issues that silently surround us daily. It is true that knowledge is power, and yes, it takes a village to raise a child. Thus we will get loud together and make sure our community is fully equipped.

This year, we want those that have never experienced what we are part of to have that opportunity. It’s the opportunity to work side-by-side with Atlanta’s brightest young leaders in making an impact in the lives of so many. Two decades later, as we all watch new records being broken in Rio, we at YPL are ready to break positive records of our own right here in Atlanta. Here’s to making our own history and doing it together.

 Ivan Shammas