Since June of 2015, I’ve been proud to sit on the Board of Director’s for the United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL), but for years, Tami and I have supported their good work. UWSL has been helping families achieve their potential through education, income stability, and encouraging healthy lifestyle for nearly 100 years.
The United Way of Salt Lake is changing the way communities approach problem-solving through its innovative “Collective Impact” model. No single department, organization, or program can address the increasingly complex issues facing our communities on their own. Collective impact tackles these problems by facilitating collaborative efforts between the business, non-profit, philanthropic, government, and citizen activist communities. Entities must come together in a cooperative manner to agree on a common agenda, share tracking and measurement data, leverage each organizations' strengths and expertise, and have a strong, independent backbone infrastructure to support ongoing efforts.
The United Way of Salt Lake also offers a mentoring program called Mentor 2.0. Recently a young woman named Nour, recounted her success story.
After arriving as refugees from Syria, Nour and her family needed help settling in their new city of South Salt Lake. South Salt Lake, a UWSL promise community. Such communities level the playing field so all residents are given access to opportunities to live their best lives and provide a seamlessly linked pipeline of services, partnerships, and resources related to education, health, and social needs.
Nour enrolled at Cottonwood High School — a UWSL community school — and within an incredibly short time, she was speaking English, on track in school, and working two part-time jobs to help support her family.
Working with a mentor helped build up her confidence, Nour said, which she attributes to her winning first place in a regional debate competition in her first year on Cottonwood High’s debate team. The win afforded her the chance to travel to the national contest in Washington, D.C — an experience she will never forget.
Since graduating high school in spring of 2018, Nour hasn’t slowed down a bit. She’s still working to save for college, volunteering as a translator, and plans to attend Salt Lake Community College to pursue her associate’s degree before moving onto a four-year university.
Tami and I are proud to continue our support the work of the United Way of Salt Lake and if you’d like to get involved, or donate, please visit http://uw.org