Campaign Associate Kalei Nereu initially joined UWGLA’s movement to Create Pathways Out of Poverty for all Angelenos by participating in the organization’s Loaned Executive Program. Below, he discusses what this unique experience meant to him and the community as a whole.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to participate in United Way’s Loaned Executive program.
Before coming to United Way, I spent 10 wonderful years serving in the United States Marine Corps. When I first heard about the opportunity to spread the word about the organization’s work, I jumped at the chance!
In your opinion, what does our mission to Create Pathways Out of Poverty mean for the residents of this community?
I feel as if it’s going to create a brand new social movement in Los Angeles. Too often have we turned a blind eye to the problems in our community and we’ve reached a crucial tipping point. If we as a society don’t learn to change this mentality, then we are destined to fail.
Describe a typical workday at United Way.
There’s no such thing as a typical day here. One day I may not even set foot in the office because of various campaign engagements and the very next day, I could be in the office helping a fellow Loaned Executive or assisting one of the Account Executives by gathering materials for their presentation.
What was your most memorable or rewarding experience as a Loaned Executive?
My favorite part of the LE program would have to be all of the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of working with here. There are a lot of different personalities within the organization and each and every one of them has made me a better person.
What would you say to someone who’s interested in becoming a Loaned Executive?
I would tell them to prepare for a truly eye-opening experience. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re doing that we fail to notice what’s happening around us and UWGLA is on a mission to raise awareness of those key issues.
United Way is working hard to improve the overall quality of life in L.A. County with the help of its community heroes. If you were a real superhero, what would your superpower be?
I would have the ability to turn anything into food; there are so many hungry mouths to feed out there and not everyone can afford to put dinner on the table.
*For more info on the Loaned Executive Program, please click here.