Jan. 21—United Way of Lake County is now accepting applications for its 2023 Youth United Way program.
Applications are being accepted through Jan. 27.
The annual youth-directed initiative, which is run by United Way's Emerging Leaders, returns after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Throughout the program, high school students visit local nonprofit agencies to learn about the services provided to those in need, as well as volunteer opportunities.
"Learning and leadership are dependent upon each other, and the development of future leaders is just one of the many ways we work to uplift our community," said UWLC President and CEO Dione DeMitro. "The program is (also) designed to support educators and nurture networking, problem-solving, teamwork and philanthropic ownership.
"We believe it's important for young people to understand the life challenges so many here face, the help that we and our partners make available through collaboration, and that one person can make a difference."
Youth United Way takes place over five Sunday sessions, beginning Feb. 19 and ending April 16.
At the close of the program, students collaborate to decide which Lake County nonprofit programs will be awarded $5,000.
Emerging Leaders Chairperson Kerry Jonke said the program always proves to be a real eye-opener for students.
"Most (participants) have no idea that nearly one-third of Lake County households struggle to afford basic needs like food, electricity, heat, medical care and more," she said. "The program gives them the opportunity to see how United Way of Lake County and their partner agencies work to make a difference."
Youth United Way's 2019 class boasted a roster of 25 students from thirteen local high schools. Officials said the hope for 2023 is to meet or exceed that figure.
The program schedule, applications and additional information can be found at uwlc.org/youth-united-way.
Interested parties may also call 440-639-1286.