Brooke Brown, alumni giving fellow in the Office of University Advancement, served as the co-chair of Young Leaders United recruitment for the WakeUnited campaign last year. She remains an active YLU member, volunteers frequently and helps generate support for the work that United Way does in Forsyth County.
“My connection to the United Way began when I was younger. I grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and was first introduced to the United Way as a teenager,” says Brown. “They created a summer jobs program that I participated in for three years prior to college. I never forgot how the United Way granted me the opportunity to earn money, become more self-sufficient, acquire new professional skills and learn important lessons in financial literacy.”
For Brown, participating in the WakeUnited campaign continues to be a way for her to pay it forward for others to have similar opportunities. United Way of Forsyth County is an active partner with many different organizations, serves different constituencies and tackles a variety of issues.
“I think the most important thing the United Way does is work in collaboration with innovators rather than dictating a ‘one size fits all’ approach to solving problems. It’s a very brave strategy,” says Brown.
When asked why she thinks people should support the United Way through the WakeUnited Campaign, Brown has a number of reasons: it provides a mechanism to help with issues supporters are passionate about, fulfills a sense of obligation for those who have benefitted from a partner organization, it’s a great way to connect with other giving people, and there are many opportunities to become agents for socioeconomic change. Besides, says Brown, “All the cool kids are doing it!”
Referring specifically to YLU, which is designed for people between 18 and 40-years-old who want to support United Way financially and through volunteer efforts, Brown has additional reasons for getting involved.
“If you are looking for more opportunities to connect socially and grow professionally, there is no better organization to partner with than the United Way of Forsyth County. And, it is so gratifying to know even my small donations make a huge difference,” says Brown. “If you have any questions about my experience and would like to reach out to me I’m always available.”