YPL: What inspired you to become involved with Young Professionals Leaders?
Kelly: I was introduced to Young Professional Leaders (YPL) through a friend on the YPL board. As a 2016 United Way VIP board leadership alumna, I knew firsthand the United Way’s impact in the Greater Atlanta community. I also understood how my contributions help bring a positive change in the lives of others. I was very much interested in learning more about YPL as an extension of United Way. I started attending YPL monthly mixers, participating in volunteer opportunities, and building relationships with members. At the time, I was also serving on a nonprofit board. At the end of my term, I decided to continue my passion for community engagement and volunteerism through YPL.
YPL: What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?
Kelly: My passion has always been serving others where I could best lend my professional expertise. The United Way’s work in providing resources to the homeless for self-sufficiency and primary health care access to communities resonates with me the most. In my professional career, I’ve supported a variety of public health communications and engagement projects for the federal government that focuses on immunizations, antibacterial resistance, injury prevention, and emergency operations. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve on the board of an organization that provides free home repairs for low-income seniors. Many of these seniors are at risk of losing their homes due to rising healthcare costs and expensive critical home repairs. The United Way’s work with homelessness and affordable health care allows symmetry between my passion and my career.
YPL: How do you balance your professional life with giving back? What motivates you to stay involved?
Kelly: Giving back brings me great joy and connects me to my purpose. Servant leadership is at the core of my being, so giving back has become a way of life. To achieve work-life balance, I select volunteer opportunities based on my availability, time commitment, and workload. I’ve had to reassess what I could give when opportunities have required more effort. It’s important not to burnout. I’m motivated because I know that the work I do with YPL impacts those in need throughout Greater Atlanta helping to build sustainable communities.
YPL: What would you say to someone who is considering joining Young Professional Leaders?
Kelly: Becoming a member of YPL is more than a title; it’s about being a servant leader and advocate for the mission of the United Way. You become a stakeholder for community empowerment and sustainability for children and families of Greater Atlanta. Even before joining YPL, I was greeted with enthusiasm from members dedicated to ensuring the Greater Atlanta community thrives. Joining YPL is an excellent opportunity for young leaders to make a positive impact in the community through volunteerism, advocacy, and philanthropy while growing their professional and personal networks. The volunteer opportunities are engaging and the networking events are unparalleled. I highly recommend any emerging leader to consider joining YPL for a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
YPL: What is your favorite quote or personal mantra?
Kelly: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
1 Corinthians 13:13