Touchstone Finalist: United Way's Emerging Leaders Program

Updated: September 24, 2019 10:08 AM

Madeline Kvale just graduated. But not from high school. She's now a graduate of the Emerging Leaders program through the United Way.

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"I thought it was super cool, learning the ins and outs. Like Robert's Rules, and why everyone needs to yay or nay," she said.

The group visited different non-profits, like the Duluth Children's Museum and the Boys and Girls Club. There, they'd get lessons about what it takes to run these important places. And they also learned more about eachother.

"A lot of women were in the group. It was really nice to get to know them. Since then, in my role with Habitat, I've worked with two of them as volunteers. And I've run into people who I wouldn't have known before," Kvale added.

This was the second Emerging Leaders group. The first one was launched thanks to a grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

"It's really exciting to be through two cycles now. It's only getting bigger as we go along. And the feedback has been tremendous," said Matt Hunter, President of the Head of the Lakes United Way.

One of their goals is to build philanthropy. One way is to create strong boards, by getting people involved earlier on. Especially young people. This program is doing that. "Providing an opportunity for folks who maybe are intimidated by the thought of serving on a board. Or maybe they've volunteered and are interested in an organization, but didn't know the next step," explained Rachel Loeffler-Kemp, the Development Director at the United Way. 

Kvale is hoping to be on the board of the Duluth Community Garden. "I love to garden, and I'm looking forward to doing more volunteering with them," she said.

And that's music to the United Way's ears. There have already been a number of graduates matched to different boards.

The Emerging Leaders program is a finalist for a Touchstone Award from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

The Touchstone Award Luncheon is coming up on October 7th at the DECC.

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