25th Youth Leadership Class


Camp Jewell team-building weekend in Colebrook, CT

Youth Leadership Honored at Recognition Event


Valley United Way Youth Leadership was honored last night at TEAM’s Volunteer Recognition event. Valley United Way Youth Leadership Co-Presidents accepted the award.

Pictured: David Morgan, TEAM Executive Director; Patricia Tarasovic, Valley United Way; Youth Leadership Director, Allie Rafferty & Elise Sullivan, Co-Presidents; Diane Stroman, TEAM Senior Vice President.

Youth Leaders Return from Allocations Weekend

CampJewell2015Winter-414_Group PhotoThe Youth Leaders have selected their areas of need and have finished their allocations process. Click here for the story of their weekend.

Youth Leaders helping out at TEAM’s Men Who Cook

For more pictures follow the link to our Facebook page here

Youth Leaders Elect Officers for 2014-2015 Class.

This years class marks the 25th Anniversary of our Youth Leadership Program. This program dates back to 1990 when the Board of Directors saw a need to get students involved in the community and to training them to be future leaders. United Way developed a year long program to accomplish that goal. The students learn about community needs in the Valley, the importance of nonprofit agencies, and the role volunteerism plays in addressing those needs. Applications are accepted annually from students either attending high schools in the Valley or residing in the Valley and attending schools outside the Valley.

After the members have been recruited, they head off to a weekend team building retreat at Camp Jewell, a YMCA Outdoor Center in Colebrook, Connecticut. There, they are given a dynamic hands-on learning experience that emphasizes learning in several major areas: trust, leadership, and communication. The many activities during the retreat also help build self-confidence. The retreat is an experience designed to bring the group together as a team for the first time. Throughout the year, members will also receive training by corporate community members. Training includes workshops in diversity, problem solving/decision making, interviewing and public speaking. Youth Leaders also participate in a wide variety of community service activities during the program year.

As a concluding activity, members conduct a needs assessment in order to determine community needs for programs and services aimed at high school students. When the results have been compiled and needs identified, a Request for Proposal is sent to all nonprofit organizations in the area, asking for proposals to be submitted for funding of programs and services that focus on the identified needs. Youth Leadership members review and evaluate the proposals as part of their own formal allocation process.

Since 1990, Youth Leadership members have allocated more than $74,000 in funding.

Join us in welcoming the 25th Anniversary Class of 2014-2015!

YL-2014-5-reception-014The 11 new members of the 2014-2015 Youth Leadership Program

The 2014-2015 class will represent the 25th year of our Youth Leadership Program! We have reviewed and chosen the youths for this years class after a vigorous interview process. We have 11 new members this year joining the 14 returning members to make a class of 25 students!

The members of this years 25th Anniversary Class are:

Truc Minh Nguyen Ansonia High School- Junior
Alyssa Orlofsky Ansonia High School- Junior
Sanjida Shamim Ansonia High School- Senior
Pablo Suarez Ansonia High School- Senior
Andrea Lynn Alabarell Derby High School- Senior
Abbrianna Lynne MacGregor Derby High School- Senior
Daniel Barnard Holy Cross High School- Senior
Katherine Simonetti Lauralton Hall- Sophomore
Thomas Komar Notre Dame of West Haven- Sophomore
Deyja Gentile Oxford High School- Senior
Lauren Pettinella Oxford High School- Senior
Bethany Catlin Seymour High School- Junior
Liam Flannery Seymour High School- Junior
Scott Walkinshaw Seymour High School- Junior
Stacie Nolan Shelton High School- Senior
Mark Polkowski Shelton High School- Senior
Michele Siu Shelton High School- Senior
Elise Sullivan Shelton High School- Senior
Anand Vaish Shelton High School- Sophomore
Max Wang Shelton High School- Senior
Courtney Salinsky St Joseph High School- Junior
Matthew Salinsky St Joseph High School- Junior
Allison Rafferty St Joseph High School- Senior

Click here to see what the 2013-2014 class did!

Youth Leaders Help at Letter Carriers Food Drive



Prudential Annuities Hosts Communication Training for Our Youth Leaders

Pru-training2014-064Valley United Way’s Youth Leaders were invited to Prudential Annuities to participate in a special training on the skills of communication. Joining them are Monica Curry (Director, Learning and Development), Mark Rasmussen (Project Director) and Jenifer Kryzanski (Director, Program Manager) along with Youth Leader advisers, Scot Lang, Colleen Holt and Mike Gnibus. Some of the topics included embracing feedback for personal and professional growth, more effectively and confidently receiving feedback and introduction to crucial conversations.

Benjamin Robinson, Chief Administrative Officer, was a guest speaker and kicked off the presentation. Monica worked with Jenifer and Mark to create an agenda for the Youth Leaders to help them understand the many factors of communication. Monica was an incredible speaker who was dynamic, vibrant, and extremely passionate about what she spoke on. She had a positive impact on every person in the room. She helped to clearly educate the Youth Leaders in the art of communication and feedback.

Prudential Annuities was extremely kind to then invite the 2014-15 Youth Leaders into their office and provide them with dinner and a special “25th”  Youth Leadership anniversary cake along with special gifts. Most important were the lessons learned that day, communication skills that the Youth Leaders will use for a lifetime.

A special thank you to Jen and Mark for working tirelessly the past few months to put this special event together for our Youth Leaders!

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