On Tuesday, members of United Way’s Emerging Leaders and Women Leaders presented their second annual Career Day at El Sereno Middle School in Los Angeles.
Representing organizations such as Anthem Blue Cross, the Culver City Police Department, Dreamworks, KPMG and PwC, professionals from the public, private and nonprofit sectors shared with hundreds of eager young students their tips for launching successful and rewarding careers.
Each year, we celebrate our top corporate, civic and community partners as well as our leading affinity group members for their efforts to Create Pathways Out of Poverty through fundraising, advocacy and volunteerism. Here is a list of those who are nominated for awards this year (winners will be announced at our Annual Philanthropy Awards on June 6th):
Model Campaign of the Year – Small to Midsized Company
ACCO Engineered Systems
Valero Wilmington Refinery
Model Campaign of the Year – Large Company
East West Bank
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Outstanding Public Sector Campaign
City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
Los Angeles Unified School District
Innovative Campaign of the Year – Private Sector
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Innovative Campaign of the Year Public Sector
City of Pasadena
Glendale Unified School District
Palmdale School District
Outstanding HomeWalk Champion
City National Bank
East West Bank
Southern California Gas Company
Trust Company of the West
Outstanding Tocqueville Campaign
Ernst & Young
Outstanding Emerging Leader Campaign
Outstanding Women Leader Campaign
East West Bank
AIG Life and Retirement
Outstanding Tocqueville Champion
Michael Hausknost – City National Bank
Chip Lightfoot – PwC
Chandler Root – Merrill Lynch
Outstanding Emerging Leader Champion
Eric Street – Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Ben Lewis – UPS
Outstanding Women Leader Champion
Nan Bouchard – The Boeing Company
Patricia Hausknost – City National Bank
Maria Audero – Paul Hastings
Outstanding Workplace Ambassador of the Year
Magalene Powell-Meeks – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Terri Garcia – Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Reed Harris II – Neutrogena
Carla Shobu – Nordstrom
Adina Joy Hirsch – Northern Trust Bank
Spirit of Los Angeles Award
Bank of America
100% Creating Pathways Out of Poverty Award
Bobrick Washroom Equipment
Phoenix Campaign of the Year
Automobile Club of Southern California
Miguel Contreras Labor Award
International Brotherhood of Teamsters – Local 396
Combined Federal Campaign of Greater Southern California
Outstanding Leadership Campaign
United Way Corporate Hero
Bain & Company
United Way Community Hero
Charley Joyce – UPS
Outstanding Executive Champion
Lt. General Eugene Tattini – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Nearly 100 of Los Angeles’ best and brightest young professionals recently gathered at the Edison Lounge downtown for United Way’s Emerging Leaders Spring Social to network and learn how they can help break the cycle of poverty in our community.
Last month, United Way employees from across the globe convened in Indianapolis for the annual Staff Leaders Conference to share ideas, celebrate accomplishments and see what lies ahead for the 126-year-old organization. Below, United Way of Greater L.A. Event Coordinator Bentley Coplin, a first-time attendee, recounts her experience.
When I received an invitation from my VP to attend the SLC, I couldn’t believe it. Within my first year of working for UWGLA, I was invited to participate in a worldwide conference focused on organizational leadership and transformation. What an opportunity!
Although I had no way of knowing exactly what to expect, the promise of worldwide connections, career coaching sessions, dynamic keynote speakers and a variety of learning labs was enough to pique my interest. I was on my way to Indianapolis and little did I know the greatest lesson I had to learn would greet me right as I walked in the door.
As the conference kicked off on a rainy Wednesday morning, I found myself sharing coffee with hundreds of new faces. A sense of clarity washed over me as smiles and warm welcomes were exchanged between newfound colleagues. Despite the distance and disparities which separated our local United Ways, we were all on the same team, brought together for the shared purpose of discovering how we could have a greater collective impact not just on our cities – but on our world.
Upon settling into our seats, we were greeted by United Way Worldwide President & CEO, Brian Gallagher. He honed in on this idea of collective community impact and the true potential of United Way to affect the greater good. After all, we are the largest nonprofit in the world. Why shouldn’t we have the largest impact on breaking the cycle of poverty, improving education or providing jobs to hardworking families? What’s stopping us?
I discovered that one of our greatest challenges is our history and a lack of public awareness about what type of role United Way is currently playing in our communities. Innovator. Strategic Partner. Thought-leader. Would you use any of these words to describe United Way? I sure wouldn’t have before I started working here. Fundraiser. Community chest. Payroll deduction. Sound more familiar?
For decades, this was true – community members poured money in, and United Way poured it back out to worthy nonprofit organizations who did the “real work.” In essence, we simply made it easier for you to give money to the organizations you cared about.
While there was value in providing this service, the focus shifted to the bigger picture – how to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. And at the end of the day, money simply wasn’t enough to fix a broken education system or reverse the cycle of poverty. United Way recognized that. Although we still act as a community fundraiser and grant-maker, our added value lies in our collective ability to solve major problems in our cities, counties and countries across the globe.
How? By focusing on the most pressing issues and coming up with strategic, peer-reviewed, data-driven plans to tackle them. By getting corporate, nonprofit and government leaders around the table to make decisions and commitments with lasting value. By ceasing to be a risk-averse organization and advocating for policies which improve the lives of the most vulnerable individuals in our community.
It’s true. My United Way is an innovator, thought-leader and change-maker. That’s the message I want to spread across Greater L.A. and far beyond, and I hope you’ll help me. Because if there’s one thing I learned from my experience at the SLC, it’s that our strength comes from our collective power to affect the greater good. Together, we will transform lives — and our own lives will be transformed in return.
Parents rallied today at LAUSD to save a beloved school program, which ensures that low-income students eat healthy meals before learning. The high energy event, which featured the launch of the “Parent Breakfast Club,” brought cameras from KCBS, Univision, Telemundo and more. Parents, as well as principals and community groups, said the issue is about more than breakfast — it’s a matter of poverty and civil rights. United Way is proud to support their efforts to protect this vital program that makes sure kids are fed. Next week, the school board will vote on whether to cut “Breakfast in the Classroom” in response to complaints by some teachers’ union leaders.
In a widespread effort to assist 49 million Americans who face hunger every day, the National Association of Letter Carriers – in partnership with several organizations including United Way and Labor Community Services – will hold its 21st Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, May 11.
Last year, residents across L.A. County donated more than 315,000 pounds of food! The challenge that arises from this amazing generosity? Sorting and distributing the food. Volunteers are needed to load/unload, sort and package these items for delivery to local families.
-Shifts are available from 8:00am-12:00pm or 12:00pm-4:00pm everyday.
-Volunteer teams are stronglyencouraged; it’s a great opportunity for students, church groups and service clubs.
In 2009, the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP) created the first nationwide implementation of housing first and prevention strategies for reducing homelessness. The three year program was comprised of homeless prevention services for those in danger of becoming homeless, and rapid rehousing assistance for people experiencing homelessness and in need of permanent housing.
After three years of HPRP implementation, local project evaluations highlighting lessons learned are beginning to emerge. A couple of weeks ago, Our Place Housing Solutions (OPHS) released its report “Internal Evaluation of the Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Rehousing Program Administered.” The report looks at HPRP in East Los Angeles County between 2010 and 2012, and the 360 clients and their households assisted during this period.
One of the most notable findings of OPHS’s evaluation was that rapid rehousing required 58% less direct financial assistance than prevention, but more effort from case managers who had to spend significant time assisting with housing location. The median amount of assistance received by rapid rehousing clients was $2,344, while that of prevention clients was $4,064. Also important to note was that a significant minority of those enrolled in prevention stated that they did not believe they would have become homeless “if not for the assistance” as was required by HUD.
Although homelessness prevention may be more effective in avoiding the personal and social trauma of a household becoming homeless, the implications of this evaluation are that future programs modeled on HPRP and operating with limited funding may be able to help more clients and achieve more concrete results fighting homelessness by prioritizing rapid rehousing over prevention strategies.
Download the full report for more information: full report
Our President and CEO Elise Buik was one of three honorees at The EmpowHer Institute’s recent “Girls to Greatness” Reception. The event recognized female leaders with the PathMaker Award, which applauds exemplary women in the community who have created opportunities for girls and women through their work. Check out this video tribute to Elise that was featured at the event.
On Tuesday, April 23, 2013 the Executive Members of United Way’s Women Leaders took part in a very special evening designed to unite women in the true spirit of friendship and philanthropy. The intimate gathering – hosted by United Way Board Member Caroline Nahas – featured both an address by WL Cabinet Chair Patricia Hausknost and a tribute to former Cabinet Chair Jan Cloyde.
United Way’s Director of Education Policy and Programming, Ryan Smith
Today, we helped launch a bold new coalition of civil rights, parent, teacher, community-based and education organizations that is already garnering attention in the media. In its first action, the new group, called Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS), surveyed more than 100 community groups to find out their priorities for improving L.A.’s schools. Click here to see the results.
The Los Angeles Times reported here on CLASS beginning with this sentence: “A coalition of groups, including the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, has launched an effort to put education at the center of the mayoral race and civic attention.”
The article quoted our own Ryan Smith, director of education policy and programming, who made the case for supporting – rather than obstructing – the school district’s efforts to improve low-performing schools: “We have a long way to go to in ensuring there is equity and access for all students, but there are some signs we’re headed in the right direction…”
LA School Report, the most widely read blog devoted solely to education in Los Angeles, reported on CLASS as well. Ryan was quoted heretoo: “These organizations, for decades, have been working very hard to increase equitable access to education,” said Smith. “We all value the same thing. It makes sense to come together to have an even larger presence.”