Part of HYPE’s mission is to help young professionals become better engaged in community life, expand professional and social opportunities, and become ambassadors for the Hartford Region. HYPE encourages cross-collaboration among agencies and organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer in the community. The Community Conversations series focuses on interviewing professionals in a local nonprofit to bring awareness to their mission, highlight their impact in the community, and provide information on how to get more involved with the organization. For the June edition, HYPEster and Community Involvement Committee Member Phil Blonski interviewed Paula Gilberto CEO of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.
What is the mission of your organization?
United Way brings together people and resources committed to the well-being of children and families in our community.
What is your role within the organization?
I serve as the President and CEO. I work closely with our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and Community Partners so that together, we can find the best way to ensure opportunities are available for every child to succeed in school and for every family to achieve financial security.
How do you implement your services or programs?
We focus on youth success, economic mobility, access to health and basic needs.
We partner with community providers, schools, municipalities, businesses and philanthropic organizations to providing programs and services that:
- ensure children and youth are prepared for success by focusing on kindergarten readiness, 3rd-grade reading proficiency, and 9th grade academic achievement;
- connect individuals with skills and training for jobs in the region as well as the financial management skills to achieve their goals;
- help individuals access income supports as well as immediate assistance such as food, shelter, disaster relief, services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
We do this by investing and providing staff and volunteer support for programs, initiatives and collaborations in the areas of youth success, economic mobility, access to health and basic needs.
In what ways has your organization been impactful to your cause?
This year, we're investing $7 million in programs and partnerships in our community, including:
- Nearly $4 million to provide children with early childhood education, improve grade-level reading skills and ensure middle grade students have the academic skills needed for high school success.
- More than $1 million to connect individuals with skills and training for jobs in our region that will allow them to make more than ends meet and have opportunity for advancement. In addition, we’re supporting financial education programs to help individuals achieve their goals and become financially secure.
- Nearly $2 million to provide basic human needs with an emphasis on immediate, emergency assistance such as food and shelter.
How does someone get more involved?
Give.Your generous financial contribution directly to United Way will enable us to keep fighting for youth success, economic mobility, access to health and basic needs for every person in our 40-town region.
Advocate. Tell your personal story of being a United Way volunteer or benefiting from a United Way-supported program. And if you haven’t been involved, you can still speak to the importance of youth succeeding, family economic mobility, accessing health services and basic needs being met. Invite your friends to get involved. Each of us has the ability to inspire hope and create opportunities for children and families in the communities where we live and work.
Join United Way Emerging Leaders Society (ELS) and/or United Way Women United®.
ELS represents young adults in our community committed to United Way’s mission and vision with an emphasis on helping children and youth succeed. This new generation of leaders is committed to BIG and LASTING CHANGE through their fundraising, friend-raising and community service.
United Way Women United® represents a diverse, vibrant international network of women leaders, more than 70,000 strong, in 165 communities in six countries.
Our Women United® is focused on family economic mobility. Annually, Women United® sponsors the Power of the Purse Luncheon and Silent Auction. Funds from the event support a Hartford-based Financial Center. Participants, many who are single, head of household, identify a personal financial goal that they achieve through individual and group support, financial education services, matched savings and job coaching.
Volunteer. Volunteers have the power to transform communities. United Way connects individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities throughout our region. Whether you want to volunteer once a week or a few times a year, we have an opportunity that’s right for you. Click here to find an opportunity near you.