WOW – YLSers sure did make Austin greater the past two weeks!

We just wrapped up the YLS Virtual Giveathon – and  I for one couldn’t be more excited about the results: 

YLS Virtual Giveathon raises $126K!

These efforts directly support our Target Graduation program and help low-income students stay on the path to graduation. I am so proud to be involved in a group that not only volunteers their time, but also leverages their giving and their connections to make our community greater for ALL Austinites.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated – donors, fundraisers & all! 

And among all the amazing results, one individual particularly blew me away: going into this process, Ward Hoffman was nervous about asking his friends for support and unsure he’d reach his goal. Today, he’s the fundraiser who inspired the highest number of donors – congrats and thank you, Ward!  

All in all, the Young Leaders Society members had lots of clever and heart-warming appeals that show why they were inspired to take this on: 


And if that wasn’t enough, here’s what a few more things YLS fundraisers had to say: 

  • These types of experiences led me to one unavoidable conclusion: we only have each other. Life absolutely isn’t fair. The kindness of every day people is one of the only tools we have to at least make life…livable. — Andrew Castillo, 3M

  • You know middle school can be crazy, incredibly awkward, and just no fun. Luckily YLS has people here to help. The money YOU donate goes to help these kids and in the spirit of openness I will tell you some awkward moments from my middle school. — Ward Hoffman, Brown Traffic Products (Ward proceeded to share a generous list of awkward MS stories, you’ll have to befriend him on Facebook if you want to know more!)

  • Try imagining your middle school experience living in poverty. It would probably take all of your energy to stay awake much less absorb or learn anything during your language arts class. United Way’s Target Graduation Program aims to help students who experience these challenges and hardships. It’s programs like these and the volunteers who devote time to mentor middle school students that made a difference in my life. — Celso Baez, Capital Metro

  • I learned that not only does YLS teach them the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community, but it also provides a positive environment in which these students can avoid negative influences and grow to become young leaders themselves. — Kara Birge, Freescale

With all of this excitement going on, I have one last bit of great news: the YLS Virtual Giveathon was SUCH a success we are going to keep the team’s fundraising site open in honor of United Way for Greater Austin’s 90th Anniversary! New members can continue to join our ranks in the next 90 days and make a difference for Austin students. 


Want to learn more? Tell us: 

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