What’s Happening in Park City!

lauren_hansenby Lauren Alexander Hansen
Director of Promise Park City

The backbone structure in Park City has evolved over the past three months. Prior to this change, Park City had one Community School Coordinator that spent one day each week at the four elementary schools and supported the Park City School District Outreach Aides. A Community Collaborations Director also supported the systems-level work of Park City and was based in the Salt Lake City United Way office. After spending focused time listening to the Park City partners and elementary school principals, a new structure has emerged.

As the new Director of Promise Park City, I am thrilled to be part of such an exciting time in the Promise Park City evolution! This coming fall, I will have an office at the Park City School District. I will continue to support the two Outreach Aides in the elementary schools and also the larger Park City community. I will be involved as a staff support in the Park City Steering Committee; that will support and provide a vision to the Promise Park City group. In addition to the Promise Park City group, we hope to establish “action networks” to gather more community partners and focus our efforts in specifically targeted areas.

My overall role will now be to facilitate conversations towards Park City-wide education, health, and income results. These changes have been thoughtful and intentional and I believe this will result in greater impact made in the Park City community. I have already begun meeting with members of the community and nonprofits to better understand all of the resources available in the Park City area. I have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement of leaders in Park City and believe great things lie ahead for Promise Park City and those it was designed to serve!

Park City Schools

Park City Schools

Staff Spotlight: Courtney Archer

courtney_2011by Courtney Archer
Financial Services Specialist

When I first started at United Way in 2006, I was the General Administrative Assistant and was under the impression that UWSL was “just a fundraising organization.” To begin with, I was completely wrong. The changes that United Way has gone through to become THE leader in Collective Impact work is really impressive. I feel like I have watched United Way of Salt Lake grow into something very promising, engaging, and effective to those in need in our communities and neighborhoods. Being a part of that change is something I feel proud of. I now work in the Finance department as the Financial Services Specialist and I love what I do. In my role, I get to see first-hand the amazing commitment made by those on our staff and in our community to change the odds. Each campaign year is bigger and better and it’s really quite awesome to see.

1015650_10201243452748963_1270829926_o902418_526895357349548_515686219_o(1)I was born in Southern California and moved to Salt Lake City with my family in 1994. I played soccer for years and am currently a fitness instructor in my free time. I’ve had the opportunity through United Way to help instruct at some events for the kids in our community and it’s made my passion for helping kids and their families even stronger. United Way of Salt Lake has opened doors for me and I’m excited to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Speaking of events, my favorite is United Way Day of Caring, and it’s coming up in September! I’m always in awe with how many projects, volunteers, and overall turn out this day brings. The amount of help the community receives on this day is incredible and I’m left speechless every year. I look forward Day of Caring and can’t wait to see how our community will come together in 2014! It’s truly a day that proves what LIVING UNITED is all about.

With all that said, I’m proud to be a part of United Way of Salt Lake and I plan to help change the odds for as long as I can! Thank you, United Way of Salt Lake, for being a great place to work and such a HUGE part of improving our community. I have zero doubts that UWSL is, and will remain, the leader in creating opportunities for kids and families, from cradle to career, for years to come. 

Let’s all continue to LIVE UNITED!

United Way Attends College Access Network of Utah’s Annual Retreat

Andrea Coxby Andrea Cox
Director of Destination Graduation

As part of United Way’s commitment to help students and families be successful from cradle-to-career, we are excited to more intentionally focus on supporting college access strategies within our Community High Schools and Jr. Highs. We are also adding capacity and support around helping student’s access, retain, and complete a college education.

Last month, myself and several Community School Directors attended the College Access Network of Utah’s (CANU) annual retreat, put on by the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). This group’s primary mission is to support and strengthen programs and services that encourage the access and attainment of higher education for Utah’s under-served, low-income, first-generation, and historically underrepresented student populations. They also support the goal of 66 percent of all Utahns having a credential beyond high school by 2020. For more information on core action strategies of CANU, please click here. http://www.stepuputah.com/access-network/

During the retreat, Kari Cutler, Director of Promise South Salt Lake, and myself lead two break-out sessions on how to utilize Collective Impact principles to align communities, schools, and organizations around higher education access. The group was enthusiastic and excited about how United Way and the City of South Salt Lake have partnered together to make sure students and families have access to educational opportunities, high-quality healthcare, and income resources. The group also heard about how United Way is is partnering with the University of Utah Reading Clinic, Bennion Center, and various other departments at the University of Utah, as well as Westminster and Salt Lake Community College, to offer needed support through mentors, tutors, and student volunteers to increase academic proficiency and college readiness.

Later, United Way staff participated in discussions about forming Local College Access Networks (LCAN’s) throughout United Way’s Promise Neighborhoods to begin creating continuous improvement plans to help students access the resources to help them successfully matriculate into college and beyond! Currently, these discussions are most robust within the Granite School District College and Career Readiness department where United Way is offering support. Such resources as FAFSA completion nights, taking the ACT, taking a college-level course, visiting a college campus, understanding what classes students should take in high school to be college ready, and applying for scholarships, etc. are important to understand, particularly for students who are first in their family to attend college, come from low-income families, and face other challenges to college access. Being a part of CANU is particularly encouraging for Jr. High’s and High Schools when students start to make decisions about the value of educational success as early as 8th grade.

The retreat ended with a video about how Collective Impact work is creating community-level change. If we want to move the needle on students accessing and completing college, then systems, schools, communities, businesses, and local organizations (like United Way and groups like CANU) must work together towards that common goal! I look forward to continuing to be a part of CANU and similar discussions about how we can support students in their college aspirations!

Collective Impact Video


Paws on Kearns!

Kyle_Priceby Kyle Price
Kearns Jr. High Community School Director

7th graders from Kearns Junior High Community School recently went into the community to provide service for a school-wide service day called “Paws on Kearns.” Students worked on a variety of projects including tying quilts, pulling weeds, planting flowers and trees, organizing donated inventory at a local thrift store, helping out at the library, working with seniors at the nearby senior center, helping tutor students at South Kearns Elementary, and much more!

Paws on Kearns (21)

Axel, a 7th grader talked about his experience and said “I feel more connected since we are together, talking about the community and working in it together.” KC, also a 7th grader echoed those sentiments and when asked if he plans on being involved next year said, “Yes, because it’s fun helping people in need or who aren’t able to do it as much.”

Kearns Junior High students LIVE UNITED through their
community involvement, volunteer work, and service.

Way to go, Panthers!

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Young Leaders Raise the Bar!

Martinez, Drewby Drew Martinez
Leadership Giving Director

United Way of Salt Lake Young Leaders officially started a new year on July 1, and it was one of our best yet! Young Leaders have historically been one of our most engaged groups, but this past year we saw even more Young Leaders GIVE, ADVOCATE, and VOLUNTEER! Check out some of the amazing results from the 2013/2014 fiscal year!

  • Young Leaders gained 88 new members for a total of 352 members
  • Young Leaders donated over $350,000 to help change the odds for at-risk kids
  • 112 Young Leaders volunteered over 140 hours at Guadalupe School and Day of Caring
  • The Young Leaders Annual Celebration raised over $15,000 with 344 individuals attending
  • Nearly 70 Young Leaders engaged in over 130 action alerts either by visiting the Capitol or sending an email to their representatives

DSC_0112_resultThese are just a few of the ways the men and women of Young Leaders are helping change the odds for kids in our community. It is such a pleasure getting the opportunity to work with these impressive young professionals that contribute so much and are amazing examples of how to LIVE UNITED.

Thank you for another great year Young Leaders, and I look forward to an even bigger and better one ahead of us!

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LSI Does Not Rest! Thanks for LIVING UNITED!

Dennis Huynhby Dennis Huynh
Community Investment Advisor

Logistic Specialties, Inc. (LSI) continues to show that it is willing to do what it takes to change the odds! Year after year, LSI employees invest both their financial resources and their valuable time in support of United Way of Salt Lake. LSI’s dedication to our community is inspiring.
LSILSI held its employee giving campaign during the week of May 27th. Once again, LSI had almost 100% participation in a very successful campaign. Despite having wrapped up the campaign just a couple of months ago, LSI is already looking at ways that it can continue to support the community going forward.

LSI is set to participate in both Stuff the Bus, a drive to provide school supplies for 8,500 low income children, and United Way of Salt Lake’s annual Day of Caring, where thousands of volunteers help out at hundreds of different service projects throughout the community.
Thank you so much LSI, for being such a shining example to the community, and for showing us what it means to LIVE UNITED!

Target Team Members Hit The Bull’s-Eye!

mikeby Mike Watts
Community Investment Advisor

Target stores around the country are wrapping up United Way campaigns. I have the opportunity to work with the local stores in Salt Lake and Davis Counties and I hardly call it work! Not only do I get to attend educational meetings where I speak with Target team members about how their support makes a difference in our communities, but I also get to be a guest at a few special events.

This year, Target team members held multiple events. Employees donated through a work place giving campaign and participated in volunteer projects. They also took tours at multiple United Way of Salt Lake Community Schools and Neighborhood Centers. And yes, they also dunked their managers! You read that correctly; some team members got the chance to dunk their leaders in a dunk tank!

Thank you, Target and Super Target stores, for taking care of our community and at the same time, taking care of your boss’s hygiene! Way to LIVE UNITED!

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