“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!”


Share Your Why: Jabari Baker

Youth helping youth! Jabari Baker, Youth United board member and senior at Carver Early College, joined Youth United of Atlanta because he wants to help less fortunate teenagers have a better future.

As a Youth United board member, Jabari helps lead a group of high school students from across Greater Atlanta as they put their passion for community to work through volunteer projects and leadership development opportunities. Know a high school student who might be interested? Learn more about Youth United of Atlanta.

Ready to share your story? Whether you’re a longtime community champion or are just getting started, United Way of Greater Atlanta wants to hear the why behind your passion for giving back. Share your why and inspire others just like you!

Share Your Why

Today, we’re excited to share a #WhyWednesday video featuring Lisa Bowman, Chief Marketing Officer of United Way Worldwide. Lisa joined us at the 10th annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast in November 2017, as we heard from keynote speaker Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media.

At the Women’s Leadership Breakfast, Lisa took a moment to share her why with us! Hear why she’s passionate about United Way’s work to improve the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community:


What inspires you to give, advocate and volunteer in your community? We want to hear the cause that drives you to give back to Greater Atlanta. Share Your Why with United Way!

Share Your Why

For Ryan Heidish, Youth United board member and Alpharetta High School senior, community service is a way to make sure that everyone in Greater Atlanta has the opportunity to thrive.

In December, he shared the following on our blog: “Growing up, I have always felt fortunate to have a safe neighborhood, access to education, and enough food and water to support my needs. Having said that, I feel like it is only right to give back to the people who may not be as lucky as I am. In my opinion, everyone deserves an equal opportunity to be successful. By giving back, we can help to make that a reality; the problem that our society faces is a lack of people who realize this.”

Below, hear why he believes it’s so important to get involved in community service – especially for youth.

Opportunity. Equity. Well-being. Financial stability. Community connection. What’s your “why”? We want to know what drives you to give, advocate and volunteer for Greater Atlanta. Share Your Why with United Way!