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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Leadership Circle Wraps up an Amazing First Year!

Martinez, Drewby Drew Martinez
Leadership Giving Director

The first year of United Way of Salt Lake Leadership Circle officially ended on June 30. Thanks to our very generous and committed members of Leadership Circle, we saw some amazing results!

We increased our membership by 145 members for a total of 160 members.

Whether it be from the remarkable workplaces campaigns that are run every year, or individuals seeking out an outlet for their community involvement needs, we increased membership in multiple venues. 248

Leadership Circle members donated over $385,000 to help change the odds for at-risk children.

Every day we see amazing results from the work we’re doing in the community. We have seen math skills increase by 13 percent for eight graders in our Promise Partnerships, and refugee youth reading proficiency increase by 11 percent! These results only happen because of the generous financial donation of our members and thousands of other committed investors.

We had 32 members volunteer over 60 hours in South Salt Lake to help keep kids on track.

Seeing the compassion of our members at Central Park helping kids with their homework, reading Dr. Seuss books to kids at Roosevelt Elementary, or handing out warm winter clothing items for kids in South Salt Lake, was an inspirational experience. The time donated by our members is the most valuable thing we have, so thank you to those who put aside busy work schedules to volunteer with kids and see first-hand how their gifts are truly helping to change the odds.

Last, but not least, the Launch Party raised over $5,000 and was attended by 170 people, with six new members joining the network.

What a fun night! Individuals came out and mingled, played casino-themed games, and enjoyed live music, delicious food, and drinks — all while supporting Leadership Circle’s focus of ensuring kids are on track in reading, math, and science.

Again, thank you to the men and women that make up United Way of Salt Lake Leadership Circle! You all made it a great first year! I can’t wait to see what next year brings!

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Keep Kids Learning Over the Summer!

rokich-stephanieby Stephanie Rokich
Director of Elementary Learning

Ever wonder what kids learn in the summer? The National Summer Learning Association has put together an interactive map of dozens of summer learning day programs and activities gong on across the country, all summer long. Check it out to find a dozen programs going on in our Promise Partnerships!

Summer Learning

United Way of Salt Lake Promise Partnerships know the importance of summer learning to keep kids on track in school. Otherwise, kids are susceptible to summer learning loss, commonly called the “summer slide”. With little or no access to educational programs or books during the summer, low-income kids often fall behind their peers during the summer and return to school in the fall at a lower academic level than when they left the previous year.

Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day recognized to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for our nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development in communities all across the country.

The vision of the National Summer Learning Association is for every child to be safe, healthy, and engaged in learning during the summer. To realize that vision, the organization’s mission is to connect and equip schools, providers, communities, and families to deliver high-quality summer learning opportunities to our nation’s youth to help close the achievement gap and support healthy development.

Facts about Summer Learning from the National Summer Learning Association

  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).
  • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).
  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).
  • Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).
  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al, 2004).


WLC – Member Spotlight: Silvia Norman

frendt-zeniaby Zenia Frendt
Leadership Giving Director

Silvia was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to the US at the age of 14. This is where she learned the importance not only of learning English, but of having an education as well. As an immigrant who managed to gain an education and go on to success as the Vice President and Latino Banking Manager at Wells Fargo, Silvia has spent a lot of time giving back!

“I have been so fortunate and it was so difficult for my family and me when we first came, that I want to help other immigrants so that they don’t have such a difficult time.” Her main focus is to help other women with job opportunities and advancement, which is a big reason why she joined the Women’s Leadership Council.

Silvia’s successes are inspirational, and a great example of what can happen when young women are empowered to reach their potential through education!

image001To find out how YOU can get involved with Women’s Leadership Council, visit our webpage, or contact Zenia Frendt at

What does it mean to LIVE UNITED?

matt_q_headshotMatt Quigley
Administrative Assistant

To answer this question, I have to look back at how I got to United Way of Salt Lake.

I first heard of United Way of Salt Lake while I worked in development at Pioneer Theatre Company. My initial understanding of what UWSL did fell into the old “Community Chest” model of philanthropy; primarily, seeing donor-directed gifts moving through United Way to the theatre. When I started to look for a new job, however, I discovered United Way of Salt Lake is much more than a funnel for funds. UWSL’s shift to a Collective Impact strategy was a turning point for how the organization truly helps to change the odds for kids and families in our community. From my initial tip-toes into UWSL, to launching myself into our recent (and very successful!) internal campaign, seeing what UWSL is doing in our community excites me and ties much of my understanding of how the world works together.

I studied history at the University of Utah for five years, focusing on 20th century America. What interests me most about history is the way that much of the social, economic, and political change that happens in this world, starts and is largely driven at a local, community-based level. I believe that much of the social ill in the world can and must be addressed within our communities. Secondly, I believe that education is a primary driving force for that change.

It is no wonder why UWSL appealed to me as an organization dedicated to changing the odds in our community. What it means to me to LIVE UNITED is not only to be united with the people in my community, but to an idea that we must unite our time, resources, and commitments to make lasting changes. I have seen how a diverse and unified approach can lead to amazing results in communities, and I believe that is what we are doing here in our own backyards at United Way of Salt Lake.