By Amanda Taylor, Administrative Assistant, Federated Hermes
When I started my first job out of college at Federated Hermes, I was unsure… about everything. What does it mean to work in a corporate environment? How will I meet people? How do I build up those relationships?
I had just left the safe bubble of a world where my friends, academics and hobbies were all right in front of me. The questions continued piling up in my head, until I was introduced to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
At first, I knew United Way only from the annual campaign my company participates in, but it grew to be so much more meaningful. I studied psychology in school, which initially sparked my passion for giving back. I knew that I wanted to help people. Knowing that United Way helps people meet basic needs, move toward financial stability and build success in school and life gave – and continues to give – me that opportunity.
One of those opportunities was a volunteer event at Heinz Field (now Acrisure Stadium) with my coworkers. We were packing learning supplies and books for schools across the region and it was the perfect opportunity to connect with colleagues and remember that the world is bigger than the four walls we spend most of our time in. After talking with United Way staff at the event and enjoying the afternoon with my team, my eyes opened to the world of United Way, and I became a donor.
United Way is making it easier than ever for young professionals to get involved in giving back through the Next Gen Ambassador program. This exciting new opportunity offers fun volunteer events and other exclusive benefits. Here are three of the biggest ways being involved with United Way as a Next Gen Ambassador has helped me learn about myself through giving back:
Being a United Way donor has granted me the opportunity to discover my community through a whole new lens. It helped me find where I fit in, where I can make a difference. I finally felt a sense of belonging in my community, my world was made smaller in the best way.
In finding United Way, I found friends in my workplace. We were given a space to learn about one another outside of our office. Instead of colleagues, I had friends. Now we see each other in meetings and have more to talk about than we did before.
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve gained since becoming a donor is the discovery of myself. To be able to contribute to something that has truly pulled at my heartstrings has given me a new understanding of who I am. A new perspective. That’s what it’s all about.
Joining this organization and becoming a donor was vital for me as a young professional in so many ways. If you’re looking for a way to get more connected, to make a difference in your community and to give back, this is the perfect place to make it happen.