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Young Leaders United

Your opportunity to make a lasting difference starts here. United Way recruits individuals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to invest their energy, time, and resources to drive lasting change in education in the Quad Cities. We invite you to join a network of Young Leaders who are making a real impact in the lives of Quad Cities children. Young Leaders members are currently being recruited.

Grow Learning

Young Leaders United’s mission is to spark a movement among young leaders to ensure students are reading proficiently by third grade.

Up through third grade, students are learning to read. From fourth grade on, students are reading to learn.

  • 40% of low-income Quad Cities 3rd graders can’t read at grade level.
  • Students not reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to not graduate high school.
  • 3/4 of students who are poor readers in 3rd grade remain poor readers throughout high school.

The Grow Learning initiative supports the mission through:

  • Pen Pal Project – Letter exchange with students in kindergarten through third grade, helping students practice their reading, writing, and penmanship skills. Young Leader United members can attend Pen Pal open houses to write letters, along with socializing and networking.
  • Read To Lead – Charter Members read 30 minutes each week to a local elementary student through an online, guided session to increase student reading proficiency.
  • Classroom Engagement – Opportunity for Pen Pals and Vello volunteers to meet and do activities in the classroom.
  • School Supply Drives – Collect school supplies throughout the year to ensure low-income students have the tools they need.
  • Take Action Day  – Community-wide volunteer day focused on the mission of Grow Learning.
  • Summer Literacy Kits – Kits created and distributed for students to use when school is out to prevent summer learning loss.
  • Teacher & School Appreciation – Celebrate and build strong relationships with the teachers that support the Grow Learning student initiatives.

The Goal

The goal by 2020 is to raise $150,000 for Grow Learning and recruit 100 Charter Members.


Make a minimum initial $1,000 investment to support Grow Learning, and a minimum annual investment of $250.

Benefits include:

  • Vello Online Tutoring
  • Young Leader Charter Member socials
  • Leadership role on Young Leader United committees
  • Networking opportunities with community leaders
  • All General Membership benefits

general member

Make a minimum $250 annual investment to support Grow Learning.

Benefits include:

  • Pen Pal Project
  • Classroom Engagement
  • School Supply Drives
  • Take Action Day
  • Summer Literacy Kits
  • Teacher & School Appreciation

Make your investment and become a Young Leaders member.