United Way's Emerging Community Leaders a great opportunity for young professionals

This morning, I graduated as a part of the United Way's Emerging Community Leaders Class of 2010.

Together, our class logged 1,503 volunteer hours and worked on some really cool projects within the community.

I've written about ECL here before, about both its poverty simulation last spring and my team's professional clothing drive and job-tips session last fall.

ECL has given me the opportunity to be come much more knowledgeable about the needs in the community and about the agencies who serve people who need help. I really enjoyed working with my team, as everyone involved had similar interests and drive.

The program provided me with some great connections, but had a purpose that was so much more than networking. I think some of us will even continue to work on The Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation's CUScholars Program.

If you're a young professional, I urge you to think about participating in ECL next year. You can find information about the program and the class of 2011 here.

Pam Hulten, who coordinates the program for the United Way, helped me out with a definition for the program: “ECL is a program designed for young, working professionals who are looking for an organized way to become more active in Champaign County through community service as well as an opportunity to develop strong networks and relationships.”

She also sent me five reasons to get involved:

  • It’s free to join.
  • Get involved through volunteering – you will see the change right before your eyes.
  • Connect with over 50 other young professionals.
  • Support our community where you are needed most.
  • Opportunity for you to lead – you will learn about non-profit boards and other leadership.

If you have more questions, you can contact Hulten through this website.

Photo, of about half the graduates, is courtesy of the United Way.

 

 

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