Be the change you want to see

“I want to be surrounded by strong, powerful, interesting women.”

Last year, Krystle attended United Way’s Annual Women’s Leadership Council Breakfast in Allegheny County to hear the inspiring story of keynote speaker, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott.

On that day, Krystle found herself immersed in a group of dynamic and kind women with whom she connected right away. “Hearing the women’s stories that day really resounded in my heart,” she recalled. “I knew right then I had to get involved.”

Immediately after the event, Krystle reached out to United Way to see how she could become a member of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC). “Sometimes, for a young person, making a financial commitment is scary,” Krystle said. “However, there was no pressure, and United Way was so helpful. It was clear United Way knows who I am and will help me make a difference in a way most meaningful to me.”

An active philanthropist and volunteer, Krystle started volunteering with United Way projects to benefit the homeless, a cause close to her heart. Soon, Krystle’s involvement in WLC helped her to network and meet people, many of whom she professionally admired. “These are incredible women who will be there to listen and give advice,” she said. “They’ve all been where you are.”

Krystle encourages other young professionals to get involved in their communities, and to find an organization who will get to know them and align their experience with the things that matter to them.

Krystle has been inspired by her involvement with WLC. “If you don’t see the opportunity to help others, create it,” Krystle reflected. “Find something you genuinely care about, and devote yourself to that.”

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash in Allegheny County, at, or Alyssa Cholodofsky in Westmoreland County, at