YLS: A Year in Review

What a difference a year makes!  In the span of just 365 days, theYoung Leaders Society  (YLS) professionals were able to accomplish so much by Living United. The documentary Waiting for Superman was a catalyst for bringing education reform off the pages of policy journals and onto the front pages of newspapers. The Issue Awareness Committee, in support of United Way’s Education Initiative, organized a screening in August at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Money Museum. The event raised funds to support United Way’s education efforts, as well as awareness for the importance of education reform. In January, the Committee organized a special You are What You Read: Addressing Early Childhood Education panel discussion at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The members of the Volunteer Committee didn’t spend every free hour volunteering this year and encouraging other YLS members to give of their time. It only seemed that way!  The Committee coordinated 16 volunteer events equaling 464 volunteer hours. This marks a 15% year-over-year increase. Their volunteer work saved more than $10,000 for Chicago non-profits. Learning the “ABCs” of YLS was easy, thanks to the planning of the Member Development Committee. Member Development hosted two of its popular YLS 101 sessions, a fun way to introduce members to YLS via speed networking and trivia. The participants discovered how easy it is to Give, Advocate and Volunteer for United Way’s work and how to advance areas of education, income and health where it is needed most in the Chicago area. The annual holiday party was one of the most successful in YLS history. The Special Events  Committee planned this classy event, where 140 guests, many of them new to  YLS, raised more than $4,000 to benefit United Way’s 10-year vision, LIVE UNITED 2020. The night was also particularly memorable for Bernadette Sayegh-Crocco, who won the Split-the-Pot Raffle. Earlier that evening, she talked about a birthday party she was going to throw for her husband Nathan in February. She wanted it to be extra special because he will have just returned from a year of service in Afghanistan. A couple of hours later her smile filled the room when she learned she was the winner of the raffle. She took home over $600 and the remaining half of the pot went toward holiday gifts for children at the Kelly Hall YMCA, a United Way partner agency. Leadership Development launched the inaugural CEO Fireside chat series for Premier Members with Jeff Malehorn, CEO of GE Capital. Premier members make a greater impact in Chicagoland through an annual gift of $500 or more to United Way. The Communications Committee organized and executed the Success Stories From Chicago’s Young Leaders panel discussion at Leo Burnett. Nearly 80 members and guests had the opportunity to enjoy a discussion on entrepreneurism followed by drinks in Leo Burnett’s Star Bar Lounge and complimentary Skinny Pop popcorn. Additionally, the Communications Committee increased the YLS presence on social networks and kept members engaged by writing and editing our monthly newsletter. What will the new YLS year bring? Stay tuned to find out!

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