Published October 16, 2016, by Michele Brown
Millennials are often defined as the “net generation,” conjuring up images of young people more connected to screens than people. Spending time with United Way’s Emerging Leaders group has shown me that Anchorage’s millennials defy that stereotype.
United Way’s Emerging Leaders group gives young people an opportunity to be directly involved in the joy, fulfillment, and challenges of creating solutions to complex social issues. Through networking, community connections, and education opportunities, the group helps advance community goals like increasing high school education and ending homelessness.
As one member explained, “There is a big difference between being a member of this community versus just living in Anchorage. I’ve loved being a part of Emerging Leaders because it gives me an opportunity to give back to my community and also really come to know it. In the coming year, I hope to see us become even more accessible and visible in the community!”
Emerging Leaders have been involved in numerous volunteer projects, monthly lunch & learns, and regular community engagement projects. Some highlights from the past year were coordinating an assembly candidate “speed dating” to get to know local politicians, and engaging the mayor’s office to discuss homelessness and ways to understand and confront the problem.
United Way’s Emerging Leaders are generous with talent, time, and treasure. Membership has increased by 48%, and donations have increased by 33%, breaking records! Despite being riddled with debt, our ELs gave an average of $516 last year, higher than the national average of $481.
Emerging Leaders aren’t watching the world play out on a screen. They are directly shaping Anchorage’s future. Are you a millennial or do you know any young people in Anchorage looking to join a dynamic group of peers dedicated to strengthening community and building professional networks and skills? If so, I hope you’ll join me on October 27th at Spark, our annual appreciation and recruitment event, this year being held at 49th State Brewing Company. Hope to see you there, future leaders and bright young people! We have so much to learn from each other.