08-20-2018 · Youth United

“My name is Roman Bacchetta, and I’m a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. From volunteer to board member to intern, it’s been quite a journey for me with United Way. Two years ago, I applied to become a member of the inaugural Youth United board after I had the privilege of touring the United Way headquarters. I was deeply inspired by the mission and expansive outreach of the organization, but also its unique level of personability, especially in the 2-1-1 call center.

In 2016, I was fortunate to be appointed to the first Youth United board along with twelve other Atlanta high schoolers. As Youth United members, we assisted with UWGA projects like the Shoebox Project and volunteered for several local nonprofits. Most importantly, the YU board collaboratively organized its own community service and engagement projects. In order to realize our visions for these projects, we investigated the most pressing issues in our own communities, worked alongside other nonprofits and businesses, and met regularly in teams to draft and flesh out our ideas. My experience with Youth United was extremely intensive and eye-opening, and I was able to become much more familiarized with the vast scope of UWGA’s mission and operations.

The summer after my first year in college, I knew I wanted to work again with the organization, so I applied to serve as an intern. This summer, as a Regional Development Marketing and Communications intern, I worked between the UWGA branches in several counties, educated the local community about United Way projects through various social media platforms, and developed a much better sense of what it means to engage and involve my community.

To all the Youth United members, I encourage you to stay involved in your community! Give back, volunteer, share your stories and ideas. You CAN make change!”