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United Way of Lake County is now Accepting Applications for 2019 Youth United Way Program

United Way of Lake County is now accepting applications for their 2019 Youth United Way (YUW) program. 

YUW of Lake County is an annual youth directed initiative run by the Young Leaders of United Way of Lake County (UWLC). The program is for high school students interested in developing leadership skills while learning about community needs and volunteer opportunities. Throughout the program, students engage in site visits to local nonprofit agencies where they learn about the services they provide and the clients they serve.

According to Jodi Matsko, United Way of Lake County resource development manager and YUW staff lead, “Students learn about the spirit of service and the importance of giving back. The program provides them with the opportunity to mobilize resources, allocate funds and impact the lives of others right here in their own community.”

Last year, 25 students from 13 local high schools participated in the YUW program. At the end of the program they were tasked with allocating $5,000 in real dollars to nonprofit agency programs that met the allocation criteria they were taught.

“The program is a real eye-opener for students. Most have no idea that 20,848 Lake County residents live in poverty. The program gives them the opportunity to see how we, along with our partner agencies, work to impact the community and help those in need,” said UWLC president and CEO Jennifer McCarty.

The YUW program takes place over six sessions beginning on January 27, 2019 and ending on April 14, 2019. At the end of the program, the students take what they’ve learned and, in collaboration with one another, decide which nonprofit programs in Lake County they will award real funds to.

The YUW program works to:

  • Develop and nurture leadership skills through teamwork, problem solving and compromise
  • Connect students with community leaders across Lake County
  • Develop a sense of philanthropic ownership in the community
  • Improve the community through youth-led service projects
  • Foster an understanding about the types of programs and services available in Lake County
  • Teach students about the process of allocating funds
  • Nurture the importance of keeping youth and community connected
  • Give students professional experiences through networking and decision making

Applications, a program schedule, and more information about the YUW program can be found online at Interested parties may also call 440-639-1236

About United Way of Lake County 

United Way of Lake County is a local, independent organization dedicated to building a stronger community by fighting for the health, education and financial stability of Lake County’s most vulnerable residents.  In partnership with nonprofit agencies, local businesses, community leaders and citizens, United Way is improving the lives of individuals and families in Lake County. By working together, we provide a network of services addressing Lake County’s most urgent needs while working toward lasting change.  For more information, please call (440) 352-3166 or visit

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