FedEx employee Sharone Powell recently participated in UWGLA’s Loaned Executive Program, doing her part to advance the organization’s core mission of Creating Pathways Out of Poverty for all Angelenos. Below, she discusses what this unique experience means to her 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.
I joined UWGLA’s Loaned Executive program through the leadership program at FedEx. I have always known about the organization and how it’s helping our community through its homelessness, education and financial stability work; they’re trying to tackle these issues by focusing on long-term solutions and building a brighter future for Los Angeles.
In your opinion, what does our mission to Create Pathways Out of Poverty mean for the residents of this community?
The CPOP plan is the best thing that ever happened to the people of L.A. County. We often say that our house is our home and here at United Way, we’re not just housing people, we’re creating homes. We’re ending homelessness, improving our children’s education, increasing financial stability and uniting our community as one.
Describe a typical workday at United Way.
Working (or volunteering) at United Way is anything but typical because it doesn’t feel like work. You go into the office, get your things ready and rehearse in your head (or with another LE) what you’re going to say at the next campaign meeting, rally or event. When you actually get there, everything goes out the window and you have to just take a deep breath and give it all you’ve got! You leave with a smile and head out for the next event where you do the same thing all over again. In my opinion, it’s the best job ever!
What was your most memorable or rewarding experience as a Loaned Executive?
First, I’d like to say that United Way has done more for me more than I could ever do for them! My favorite part of the program was the friendships I built. Not only were we a team of friends, we became a family. I had so many memorable and rewarding experiences with friends, coworkers and others who have come into my life and touched my heart.
What would you say to someone who’s interested in becoming a Loaned Executive?
Becoming a Loaned Executive is life-changing. If you’re a compassionate person, you become more compassionate. Your desire to help others becomes a way of life. You become a new person - a better version of yourself. Some people enter the program thinking, “I’m just volunteering.” But in the end, all you’re thinking is, “I want to do this as long as I possibly can.”
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?
It would be to give others faith; but not just any kind of faith - childlike faith. When a child believes in something, they do so with a pure heart, knowing that anything can happen. If I could give others faith in our ability to Create Pathways Out of Poverty together, then we would be able to accomplish our goals that much faster!
*For more info on the Loaned Executive Program, please click here.