Bringing local youth together

The first Youth United Way in Ohio is taking shape to bring college and high school students together to make a difference in the greater Toledo area.

Gary Braylock, Youth United Way coordinator, is working to spread the word about how to get involved in this start up project. He has been working closely with Director of Service Learning of the Office of the Provost Jane Rosser to inform student leaders about potentially getting on board.

An outreach event was held last night in the Union to inform students about the beginning teers of the project.

The United Way normally does not start up their own programs, making the Youth United Way a unique experience for everyone involved, Braylock said.

The groundwork for the program as a whole is still being laid out, being that this is the start up of the Youth United Way in the greater Toledo area.

University students who get involved in the program will be team leaders and will be expected to take on a more proactive leadership role. They will be leading Bowling Green High School students who will serve as Youth United Way ambassadors.

“Our whole mission is to change lives, and that’s what were focusing on, even with this program,” Braylock said.

Braylock explained that projects within the community will be proposed mostly by the high school students, since they are the ones who grew up in Bowling Green and who know the issues that need to be addressed.

Colleen Chambers, junior, said getting involved with the Youth United Way would be a really rewarding and educational experience.

“I am hoping to work with a non-profit organization in the future, so I wanted to get some experience,” Chambers said.

A summer training camp will be held to ready college students for their duties as team leaders.

Applications will be available online, and students who want to apply should check the Greater Toledo United Way’s Web site at during spring break to see if the applications are up.

Those who apply should be ready and willing to serve the community.

“Why don’t we make some change happen,” Braylock said.