Stephanie graduated from VIP program in 1999, served on AAP Cabinet for past four years

By Bradley Roberts

When Stephanie Gloster moved to Atlanta in 1998 from Virginia, she knew that she wanted to get involved in community work in some way.

She was familiar with United Way —she was introduced to the organization at her previous company— but she wanted to find a way to serve in other ways outside of her donation.

“That was when I found out about the VIP program,” Stephanie says.

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Volunteer Involvement Program has helped transform volunteers into community leaders for the past 25 years.

This is a program that raises a diverse group of community leaders to serve on boards of nonprofit organizations and in leadership positions in the Greater Atlanta area.

“It gave me that connection with United Way, and I liked the fact that it would train you for board service — that training has paid off over the years for me,” she says.

Stephanie went through workshops on fundraising, strategic planning, marketing and financial and legal decision making.

“Since then, I served on different boards,” Stephanie said. “I was on the board for transitional housing and homelessness, I have served as the director of technology for National Black MBA, Back on My Feet Atlanta, American Cancer Society Cobb and I’m currently on the Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link board.”

She is also on the Duke University Engineering Alumni Council and the Duke Alumni Association in Atlanta, Stephanie says.

“I had some times when I was serving on two or three boards at the same time,” she said with a laugh.

After serving on multiple nonprofit boards, Stephanie said she became heavily involved in United Way of Greater Atlanta.

“I got an email from [Senior Director of the VIP Program] Janice [Robinson] that she had sent out to VIP graduates talking about the [African American Partnership] and asking us if anyone was interested in serving on the Cabinet, and I sent in my application,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie was a graduate of the program in 1999. She was “very eager” to serve on a board, Robinson said.

“My goal is to make sure that all alumni have an opportunity to serve, so I always share with them open board opportunities,” Robinson said.
Robinson said she has helped Stephanie develop board connections and United Way opportunities since she graduated through the program.

“VIP trains community leaders like Stephanie to be effective board members,” Robinson said. “By doing so, community organizations become stronger and more effective.”

Stephanie was selected to serve on the AAP Cabinet. She has served as the membership committee chair and vice chair of the AAP affinity group. She’s currently wrapping up her term as chair, she says.

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership was formed in 2000 after Dr. Johnnetta Cole saw there wasn’t enough leadership positions for African-Americans in Greater Atlanta.

Since its formation, AAP has garnered more than 1,000 members and raised more than $2.2 million annually for United Way.

AAP’s signature cause is powering the potential of African-American boys and young men toward academic achievement.

AAP Director Bryan Vinson said Stephanie “leads by example.”

“She sets the pace for the Cabinet with her unwavering commitment to community, leveraging networks to expand resources and drive toward innovation and increased efficiency,” Vinson said. “During Stephanie’s four years on the AAP Cabinet — two years as chair— our brand and presence in the community has grown exponentially.”

Stephanie said since she’s been on the Cabinet she’s seen the group expand to include more corporate sponsors, they have equipped six schools with after school-type activities they call, “Build a Library,” they hosted different youth mentoring events and have seen the annual Leadership Luncheon grow exponentially.

“Our largest fundraiser is the luncheon, and the first year we did it we had about 100 people in attendance,” Stephanie said. “We have more than 1,300 that attended the last one.”

Stephanie said AAP is a group that is important to her “because [AAP is] focusing on a segment of people that are often overlooked.” She has enjoyed interacting with the students over the years.

Stephanie was recently recognized for her service to the community with the Women of Excellence award from the Atlanta Tribune. She credits her time at AAP for helping her come out of her shell. It has helped her grow into her leadership roles as she’s taken on new career paths.

“Indirectly, AAP helped build my leadership skills and helped me with public speaking and community engagement,” she says. “I’ve met wonderful people and built lifelong friendships. I’m looking forward to attending different events after my time as Chair ends.”

It is hard to believe that the 4th Annual AAP Leadership Luncheon is almost here and I, for one, could not be more excited. Of course, I am looking forward to hearing from one of the most influential African-American artists of our generation, Common. This will also be a great opportunity for AAP members to network and share our signature cause with the Atlanta community.

We are offering guests a powerful networking tool. Did you know that once you’ve registered for the Luncheon, you can view the names of the other guests? Simply, use your email address and confirmation number to log in to log-in and select “Information” then “Attendees.” You can create a networking plan before the Luncheon!

At the Luncheon, we are counting on you to help “chat AAP up”. As a member, you know about, not only the many opportunities United Way creates for volunteerism, we are also raising money to fund our signature cause, Powering the Potential of African-American young men and boys.

Lastly, it is not too late to ask Common a question. Send your questions to aap@unitedwayatlanta.org and one or more may be included in the discussion the AAP Leadership Luncheon.

See you on March 2nd! #LeadWithAAP2019

Kind regards,
Stephanie Gloster
AAP Cabinet Chair

It is the season of thanks, and on behalf of United Way of Greater Atlanta African-American Partnership Cabinet, I would like to thank you for your continuous support to AAP’s mission of empowering our young African-American males and your commitment to your community and AAP.

As we transition into what is coming up next for AAP, it is with great enthusiasm that I share our keynote speaker for the 4th annual AAP Leadership Luncheon on SATURDAY, March 2, 2019: Common – American hip hop recording artist, actor, film producer and poet from Chicago, Illinois.  The AAP Cabinet has worked diligently to bring Common to Atlanta and we’re excited about the energy he will bring to our community agenda. Expect to hear details about his rise to the top across multiple entertainment genres as well as his philanthropic outlook on our shared passion of positively impacting youth will be brought to life at this year’s annual luncheon.

As we look ahead to an exciting future, it’s also important to acknowledge our fall accomplishments.  Earlier this month, AAP members and guest came together to support the 4th annual “Mentoring Our Youth,” Volunteer event.  Over the course of the evening more than fifty students from Price Middle School and Carver High School participated in a College/Greek Life workshop; a mock networking reception and small group discussion.  Feedback from both the students and school administrators confirms that we broadened their perspectives on colleges and careers along with furthering the possibilities of their future if they commit to studying hard now.  Special thanks to all of our volunteer mentors who made the event a fantastic success. Click here to see photos from the event.

Lastly, as we round out the month of November, please help us spread the word about AAPs service and leadership opportunities.  For those interested in beginning or renewing annual membership, please contact aap@unitedwayatlanta.org.

Happy Holiday Season to all!

Stephanie Gloster
Digital Business Integration Consultant, Accenture Applied Intelligence
AAP Cabinet Chair