Meet the friendly faces behind the new Young Leaders Society

Today, United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX) introduces the new and improved Young Leaders Society (YLS), a diverse group of young professionals under the age of 40 who give or raise $1,000 annually to support UWATX.

YLS unites the professional and social aspects of being a young professional with the intrinsic need to shape our community.

– Brendan Day, Baker Botts

For a few months, the Founding Committee and I have been getting a jump start by  volunteering our time with students in UWATX Target Graduation – a program focused on keeping middle school students on the path to graduation. Moving forward, YLS members will also raise money and spread the word about the critical middle school years.

The Founding Committee of YLS is made up of 15 dynamic professionals from a cross-section of industries in the corporate, civic and nonprofit sectors.  All accomplished and passionate individuals in their own right, they  are joining together  to extend their talents, time and money to help prepare Austin students for success in college, work and life.

YLS members engage with students at Webb, Decker and Mendez Middle Schools learning to be volunteer leaders and are encouraged to leverage their networks to mobilize more supporters for the Target Graduation program. Whether it is a campus clean-up, a tutoring session, or a mentoring opportunity, YLS members seek to inspire and shape new leaders in Greater Austin.

Through various professional development and fun networking opportunities, the Founding Committee is working to expand YLS and work with other young leaders in the Greater Austin area. Here’s what a few members had to say about why they are involved:

  • “To me, YLS is a way to ensure that United Way continues to meet the needs of Austin now and into the future.  As a Founding Committee member, I have the opportunity to help set the course for a group that will make a significant difference in the lives of young people.” – Jeremiah Bentley, Texas Mutual Insurance
  • “What YLS means to me:  An opportunity for young professionals to join resources and perspectives to contribute to our local community’s future by being leaders and mentors for the next generation.” – Marcus Everett, Enterprise
  • “YLS unites the professional and social aspects of being a young professional with the intrinsic need to shape our community in a way that significantly improves the lives of the next generation of leaders.” – Brendan Day, Baker Botts
  • “I have a passion for education and look forward to helping inspire students to further their education and give back to their community as a member of the Young Leaders Society Founding Committee.” – Luke Martinez, Bank of America
  • “YLS is an opportunity to work with other young professionals to support the youth in the community.” – Meghan Coleman, The University of Texas at Austin

As we mark the public launch of YLS today, I am excited to build this group.

Have you made an impact in your community?  Share your experience of making Austin greater and connect to new and emerging leaders today!


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