Guest blogger Jordan McKerney is a marketing communications professional and a volunteer with the United Way Emerging Leaders marketing committee, where she focuses on planning and promoting volunteer opportunities.
Valentine’s Day is this weekend and whether you’re planning a candlelit dinner for two or a TV marathon with friends, I think we can all agree that there’s no bad time to reflect on the things you love. Just like there’s no bad time to treat yourself to a box of chocolates! With that in mind, I wanted to share 5 things that I LOVE about being a United Way Emerging Leader:
1. Giving back and having a great time
A lot of people want to volunteer in the community but have a hard time finding opportunities that feel meaningful and fit with their schedules. I love that being an Emerging Leader makes it easy to volunteer.
On every second Saturday of the month, you can count on having several fun projects to choose from. Some of my favorite projects recently have been working the Holiday Carousel in downtown Seattle and planting a learning garden with Seattle Tilth.
2. Expanding my network, effortlessly
I’ll be honest: before I became an Emerging Leader, networking events were not my idea of a good time. But Emerging Leader networking events are truly a lot of fun and also a great way to meet people, whether you are new in town, looking for a new career or just hoping to make a few new friends.
3. Engaging with local leaders
Emerging Leaders have the opportunity to meet a lot of other young professionals. But we also get to tap into United Way’s wide network of established leaders in our community.
Just last month, several United Way of King County Board members joined Emerging Leaders for a fun networking event in Bellevue. And in the past few months, Emerging Leaders got to hear from top leaders through our Speaker Series program. I mean, where else can you chat with a top executive from AT&T, the founder of CarToys or Angela Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants?
4. Building an amazing program
I’m part of a group of volunteers that helps shape the Emerging Leaders program – planning events and spreading the word about all the ways people can get involved.
I love getting to spend time with this incredible group of talented young professionals and finding ways to grow and improve the program to engage even more Emerging Leaders. Because let’s face it — we are the next generation that will shape our communities and the more we can do now, the better!
5. Learning about my community and how I can make it even better
More than anything, I love that being an Emerging Leader has made me much more knowledgeable about the issues facing my community.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by complex challenges like ending homelessness or ensuring that every child has an equal chance at success. But because I’m an Emerging Leader, I have insight into the work individuals and organizations are doing every day to make a difference — and what I can personally do to build a community where people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable. And that’s a vision for my community that I love.
Want to learn more about Emerging Leaders and hear about our upcoming events? Sign up now!