How United Way Women are Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders

More than 1,200 female business and community leaders came together to celebrate the power of women for United Way’s 19th Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast.  We always look forward to this one, as it is one of the year’s most inspiring events (in our own humble opinion!), and this year was no different.

Our amazing co-chairs shared their personal stories of why they are involved with United Way and the WLC, from experiencing United Way’s impact first-hand as part of a struggling community agency that needed support, to getting more and more involved through volunteering.

Keynote speaker Wes Moore talked about the difference between opportunity and potential, and reminded us that “Our job is to be as passionate about our own future as theirs, because the two are unbelievably intertwined.”

Special guest speaker, 19 year-old Melissa Graham, brought 1,200 people to their feet after sharing her inspiring story about overcoming challenges to become the first person in her family to go to college – thanks in part to Lowell Community Health Center (a UW partner) and a United Way Marian L. Heard Scholarship.

The WLC also formally kicked off a new community effort geared toward “creating tomorrow’s leaders”.

We asked our guests a question: “What advice would you give to tomorrow’s leaders?”  Here’s what they shared:

In the last year, UW women have:

  • Collected 1,500 books in multiple languages to donate to local child care and early education programs to promote reading in families where English is not the primary language;
  • Organized a “Read to Succeed” day on September 11 with more than 50 volunteers, including 10 female Boston Police officers;
  • Mentored United Way scholarship students, providing guidance on college, academics, internships, and careers;
  • Held an annual Community Baby Shower that has provided hundreds of recent and soon-to-be mothers with the resources they need to support their child.

And there is still so much more to do! Get involved and find out more about how you can join the WLC to empower tomorrow’s leaders.

Read more about the Breakfast in the press release.

See more photos on Facebook.

The event was co-chaired this year by Susan Klink of Deloitte, Kathy MacVarish of State Street Corporation, and Jill Nyren of Sun Life Financial.

The Women’s Leadership Breakfast is sponsored by United Way corporate partners including presenting sponsor Deloitte, as well as State Street, Sun Life Financial, Bank of America, Boston Financial Data Services, Cabot Corporation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Eaton Vance Management, and Wilmer Hale.