YPL Member, Shamriel Lowery
Learning & Development Specialist
Kaiser Permanente


YPL: Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s YPL group?

Shamriel: I decided to get involved in YPL because community service and advocacy is near to my heart, and as a young professional in Atlanta I’m always looking for cool opportunities to network with like minded individuals. This group combined two things I love to do in one perfect fit. I’ve met some amazing individuals and done a lot of good things in the community through YPL.

 

YPL: What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

Shamriel: I am most passionate about supporting the disadvantaged in their efforts to navigate high school and the transition into college. I enjoy being able to assist with applications and help with job fairs and really provide vital information about how to be a successful adult despite your background.

 

YPL: What is your favorite quote?

Shamriel: “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

#WhyWednesday: Juliet Udeochu

Juliet Udeochu is the Volunteer Recruitment Manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and serves on our Young Professional Leaders (YPL) board. She believes the children of Greater Atlanta are our future. Today, hear why she is passionate about ensuring the children are well in our region.

United Way, along with dozens of partners, has developed a set of measures that the community can use to assess how its children, the families that support them and the community that surrounds them, are doing. This enables us to track our progress and determine what levers are the most effective in ensuring “all the children are well.” See how the children are doing in your community here.

YPL Member, Channing Reames
Supply Chain Analyst II
Genuine Parts Company

YPL: Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s YPL group?
Channing: I’ve always felt a calling to make an impact in my community by working to help others. Being in United Way’s YPL, they have given me the direction and tools to achieve that calling.

 

YPL: What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?
Channing: United Way’s campaign to help children in our community is one that I consider myself the most passionate about.

YPL: What is your favorite quote?
Channing: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

Our annual holiday tradition was a record success! Nearly 300 young professionals and our partners joined us to serve at 12 different volunteer sites, bringing hope and joy of the season to hundreds of children and their families.

We addressed many barriers for children and families through projects like outdoor beautification, bike giveaways, donation sorting and more! We also enjoyed mingling at Eventide Brewing, where many were able to make new friends and memories in the spirit of giving back to our beloved community.

Last year we partnered with several young professional networks to get our members involved in the Child Well-Being movement, many of whom support United Way partner agencies. This year, the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals and Salvation Army Echelon Atlanta Chapter answered our call to grow our impact event more by investing $1,250 to help us serve more children and their families at our sites.

Stacey Michelle chose to volunteer with FreeBikes4Kidz (FB4K) this year, a champion of Child Well-Being with the mission to help kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood. As a volunteer for their annual bike giveaway, Stacey assisted the kids with selecting the right sized helmet and bike, based on the child’s size, style and color preference. There were a lot of many wonderful choices of bikes and tricycles that the kids got to choose from. The warehouse was full of excitement and love. The kids were overjoyed and for some, this was their very first bike!

“As always, I enjoy volunteering with United Way. This year’s HoliDAY of Service has become my most favorite!” Stacey shared. “My most memorable part was meeting a family of four: two boys, one teenage daughter and a mom who is expecting her fourth child in early summer 2020. Their mother mentioned to me how she felt so blessed from the resources and services she received through United Way’s 2-1-1. This resource was her lifeline, which assisted the family with moving from out of a shelter into an apartment and also provided her the FB4K’s bike giveaway information!”

Join United Way’s LINC and YPL in making a difference in the lives of children and families throughout the year. Next up is SaturDAY of Service on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Whether you joined us or missed us for this day of service, you will not want to miss our April event. Mark your calendar to join the fun!

Check out the HoliDAY of Service photo album.

Interested in sponsorship? Contact Lauren Rock at ypl@unitedwayatlanta.org.

#WhyWednesday: Curtis Carter

“It’s important to me to get in, roll up my sleeves and volunteer.”

Curtis Carter is a customer engagement manager for Campus Management Corp. and a Young Professional Leaders (YPL) board member. Curtis found that volunteering through YPL gives him an opportunity to meet new people and serve his community. Today, hear why Curtis donates his time and talent to United Way!

United Way of Greater Atlanta Young Professional Leaders (YPL), is a compassionate, committed group of individuals on a mission to encourage the spirit of philanthropy. YPL members represent some of the top emerging leaders in Greater Atlanta, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 under 40,” as well as community and civic leaders. Chosen as one of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s five professional clubs for millennials, YPL is the group of choice for community-minded young people. In 2015, 1,335 members donated more than $1.9 million to United Way of Greater Atlanta. Join the YPL movement as they take ownership today of Atlanta’s tomorrow. For more information, contact ypl@unitedwayatlanta.org.

YPL Member, Kaleb Holbrook
Project Manager, Renewable Development, Georgia Power Company

YPL: Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s YPL group
Kaleb: I decided to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s YPL group for a few different reasons, but one main reason really comes to mind to me here. Growing up, I had always been involved in extra circular activities and as I transitioned into my professional career, I knew I wanted to stay actively engaged in activities within the community. Young Professional Leaders has provided me with not only leadership opportunities to further my career, but also opportunities to give back to a community to that has provided so much to me.

YPL: What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?
Kaleb: I have always been and continue to be passionate about civic duties. Through being actively involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta, there are so many opportunities to give back to a community that has provided so many blessings to those within the community. I was fortunate that I had a community that supported me through my dreams growing up. I believe that it is imperative for individuals, particularly children, to be supported and provided with resources so that they too can achieve their goals.

YPL: What is your favorite quote?
Kaleb: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead

August 10, 2019
Keonda M. Banks

On Saturday, August 10th, 2019, 45 YPL (Young Professional Leaders) members and other United Way volunteers had the opportunity to visit the newest United Way Kids Home Initiative site in South Fulton. On this bright and sunny Saturday, volunteers descended on to the Regency Park Apartments with hundreds of school supplies and treats to support a back-to-school event that can only be described as deliciously generous.

The brunch spread that was provided was nothing short of yummy!  It would delight even the most seasoned of “Sunday-Brunchers” (sans rosé and mimosas) and put bright smiles on the faces of even the littlest of critics.

While the kiddos enjoyed their treats, got face paintings and had fun, volunteers organized the kaleidoscope of brightly colored backpacks and stuffed them with pencils, paper, crayons, folders and more. Parents and adults could visit tables that featured community resources and other local opportunities. At the end of the event 75 students and their families were impacted and left feeling prepared and more excited for the first day of school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the event, YPL members were also given an exclusive tour to visit the Kids Home Initiative office in the complex, where we talked with Tosha Settles, the site’s Community Coordinator, about the program’s successes to date and future opportunities. The space had tables for students to complete homework, a kitchen for snacks and colorful educational posters and art on the wall that completed a great learning environment. Ms. Settles’ positive attitude and enthusiasm for connecting with children was on full display.  When asked what her biggest need for the program was, with a smile, she simply replied “volunteers”.

Through the generous investment of $100K by YPL and our partners at the Night for a Brighter Tomorrow Gala this event was made possible, and is the first of many inspirational, warm and exciting opportunities to get involved.

If you and your network have a love for connecting with youth and being a positive influence in building thriving futures, join YPL members as volunteers to support Kids Home Initiative.

For more information about how to get involved, please connect with us for more information at ypl@unitedwayatlanta.org or visit www.unitedwayatlanta.org/program/kids-home-initiative.

“As the 2019 -2020 Chair of United Way’s Young Professional Leaders, I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve. The opportunity to lead this organization is a testament that Atlanta remains a place where dreams are able to take form.

My passion has always been education equity, making sure all children have the tools they need to be successful regardless of their race/ethnicity, class, or the zip code they live in. Of the nearly 1.3 million children living in our 13-county region, close to half a million live in communities with low or very low child well-being. While there are many groups doing excellent work in our area, not all services and resources leverage the most important drivers of change. Gaps in services and missing resources are barriers to the well-being we all strive for.

Communities can thrive today and reach their greatest future potential only if our children are thriving. That’s why United Way’s focus is on creating a community where “all the children are well.” By ensuring that every child in our community has the opportunity to reach his or her potential, we are building a strong future for Greater Atlanta – a future where every individual and family in the community can thrive. Communities that can say, “All the children are well” have babies born healthy, kids who read proficiently by 3rd grade and teens who graduate from high school ready for college and careers. These are kids that grow up in communities where people are educated, employed, and housed.

As the 2019- 2020 Chair I can promise that our board is devoted to working to improve the living situations for all. We understand the needs of the community and encourage action – whether through contributing time, talent or treasure. No one can do it alone. We want to connect with your community through volunteer service, grow your leadership capacity through professional development opportunities, and leverage your skills to create positive change.

I get excited when I consider the possibilities of how we can continue to improve the community we already enjoy. Great things are in the works beginning this fall and conclude at another unparalleled Night for a Brighter Tomorrow gala on May 2020. I hope you will join us as we celebrate our 10th year.”

– Rashad K. Stallings

#WhyWednesday: Candice Dixon

“United Way has served as the place where I’ve learned to become a more impactful volunteer and community leader.” Today, hear why Candice Dixon, Director of Corporate Partnership Development at Community Health Charities and member of United Way’s Young Professional Leaders, is dedicated to helping communities in Greater Atlanta thrive!

How do you get involved and raise awareness for issues that matter to you? United Way of Greater Atlanta Young Professional Leaders (YPL), is a compassionate, committed group of individuals on a mission to encourage the spirit of philanthropy. YPL members represent some of the top emerging leaders in Greater Atlanta, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 under 40,” as well as community and civic leaders. Chosen as one of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s five professional clubs for millennials, YPL is the group of choice for community-minded young people. In 2015, 1,335 members donated more than $1.9 million to United Way of Greater Atlanta. Join the YPL movement as they take ownership today of Atlanta’s tomorrow! Learn more about YPL and how you can get involved here.

#WhyWednesday: Sarah Smith

For Sarah Smith, the inspiration to give back came early—and it all started with her Nana. Today, hear why this Young Professional Leaders advisory board member gives, advocates and volunteers with United Way of Greater Atlanta.

Sometimes the inspiration behind community service isn’t a why – it’s a who! Is there someone who has sparked your interest in philanthropy? We’d love to hear all about it. Give your inspiration a shout-out and send in your story to United Way of Greater Atlanta!