This is a guest post by Melia Albrecht, United Way Emerging Leader and Marketing & PR Coordinator at Deloitte Digital
Sometimes the social challenges facing our communities seem so insurmountable, it’s easy to not know what to do. You might not know or where to start. You might believe that one individual can’t make a difference.
The recent Unheard Stories from Young Change Makers event, hosted by the Gates Foundation Discovery Center, challenged that notion. During an intimate evening, attendees heard narratives from a diverse group of Seattle young professionals making their mark.
- Angela Weber, a Google program manager, recent graduate of United Way’s Project Lead program and an United Way Emerging Leader, finds her motivation in compassion. She channels that compassion on the Board of Directors for The Sophia Way—a nonprofit helping women transition from homelessness into stable housing. She’s also mentor for at-risk youth at Eastside Academy, an alternative high school.
- Even when she felt like an outsider, Merivet Lombera worked to build trust in a community where there was none. An activist and community organizer for the Latino Community Fund, she organizes civic engagement events and workshops. She also leads the Alianza Youth Program in Yakima.
- Domonique Meeks, creative director of Ambassador Stories, emphasized our responsibility as community members. As co-host of the No Blueprint podcast and creator of Soul of Seattle, he focuses on media as a means to highlight stories of underrepresented people, places and spaces, and helping people of color have digital access, create connections and build community.
- A poet, educator and community organizer, John Eklof works in the Bellevue School District as a racial equity specialist. An expert on topics such as social justice, leadership development and unifying the millennial generation to create positive change, he spoke to attendees about the importance of identity and how to strengthen our own.
- Maryam Hosseini-Mozari, associate communications officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, outlined the impact of respect on her father’s experience as an immigrant. She reminded everyone that respect, or lack thereof, takes many forms and can have a profound effect.
The inspiring event gave attendees a stronger insight into the impact one person can make. The message was clear: what you choose to do every day makes a difference.
United Way’s Emerging Leaders makes it easy for Seattle young professionals to make a difference through volunteering, social events and giving opportunities. Sign up for our bimonthly newsletter to join us at our next opportunity.