UWYLS Holiday Mixer

Posted on December 13, 2016

UWYLS Holiday Mixer

A big thank you to everyone who came out to our UWYLS Holiday Mixer on December 1st! Over 50 young professionals attended to give back and network with other UWYLS members. We were able to provide over 65 gifts to the Child Crisis Center of El Paso to benefit low income families in the community.

Near and Dear by Ray Perez

Posted on December 13, 2016

Attending college and being involved on campus in different student organizations provided me with many enriching experiences. These experiences not only helped me to develop professionally for life after college, but they also helped me to grow as a person and even learn more about myself. For all of the experiences that I had, none are as memorable as the very first time that I participated in the United Way of El Paso County’s Alternative Spring Break right here in El Paso.
It was the Spring of 2014 and I had signed up to be a Team Lead for ASB. What made ASB different than other spring breaks is that it is focused around a community service project. For us, this was helping to build houses for low-income families. Something that made this project so special is that not only were we helping to build houses for different families, but that we were actually working with the families themselves. Some members of the families were already there at the work site when we arrived in the morning, and then the rest of the families would arrive in the evening. We were helping moms, dads, sons, daughters, etc. to build their very own homes. Words cannot express just how humbling or what a true privilege it was to help these families build the houses that they would be living in and calling “home”.
Being a Team Lead was service in and of itself. It meant that not only was I going to help with the service project, but that I was also going to be a host and a leader to the students who had come in from around the country. In this role I had the honor of sharing my culture, my hometown, and even my alma mater with them throughout the week. None of our guests had ever been to El Paso so it was amazing getting to experience my hometown from their perspective. It was almost as I was discovering the place that I have always called home for the very first time. Many of the students were amazed at the beauty of the borderland and the richness our culture. I had never felt so proud of my home and my heritage and I gained a much deeper appreciation of where I come from.
Alternative Spring Break by the United Way of El Paso County was truly an unforgettable experience. Being of service to local area families and sharing my culture and my hometown with our guests is something that has changed me forever. Without question, it has been my most impactful volunteering experience and I have feel blessed to have even had the opportunity.

Becoming an Adjunct Professor as a Community Service by Natalie Littlefield

Posted on December 13, 2016

Perhaps one of the most important components of a strong economy is a robust education system. This is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned while working on several economic development projects in El Paso. Despite this basic tenet, however, I’ve observed several obstacles that are keeping this city from achieving a level of success in its education system that would support our growth. One of those obstacles is that there is simply a shortage of good teachers available at the collegiate level. For the sake of El Paso’s future, we need more people in the community to step up and become adjunct professors.

My own time as an adjunct professor was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had. I enjoyed being able to mold people into something better than they were before and witnessing their sense of accomplishment.

Colleges here are always on the lookout for new talent to expand courses that might be interesting to individuals and also to meet employer demand. Technical courses are often in high demand by employers and those who don’t have internal training programs will often reach out to the local colleges for training courses. Texas grant funds like the Skills Development Fund are further popularizing employer training programs at colleges. This is a grant that funds 100% of the training plus the materials needed.

Not only does training benefit employers, who see an uptick in productivity, it also benefits employees who may receive an increase in wages and receive a promotion upon completion of their courses.

Yet even with employer demand for training and the availability of grant funding there is often a shortage or lack of professors who are available to teach the skills that are needed. Rarely is this because there is no one in El Paso with the right skills, but rather it is because skilled individuals have not made the leap to academia.

As employers in the healthcare industry have told me, people with the right skills would rather work in their field than teach because the pay is much better. However true this statement might be it does not bar anyone from becoming an adjunct professor in addition to working at their regular job.

There are several great benefits to becoming an adjunct professor. It offers flexible hours (work during days, nights, or weekends), it can be short term or long term, and it is extra money in the bank. Plus, it offers a valuable service to the community that will help push the economy forward.

With so many benefits to those involved, I hope you will consider making teaching a part of your career and community service.

Young Leaders Society Kick-Off Networking Event

Posted on May 25, 2016

Young Leaders Society Kick-Off Networking Event

Thank you to all who attended the Young Leaders Society Networking Mixer last week! We had over 50 young professionals networking and enjoying some delicious tacos. Look for our next event coming up in July.

Young Leaders Society Kick-Off Networking Event

Posted on May 18, 2016

Young Leaders Society Kick-Off Networking Event

Join us on Thursday, May 19th for our first YLS Networking event, at Love Buzz, located on 3011 Pershing Drive. Feel free to bring a friend, enjoy free tacos and learn more about the Young Leaders Society!

Young Leaders Society Social Hour & Book Drive

Posted on December 3, 2015

Young Leaders Society Social Hour & Book Drive

The Young Leaders Society held a Social Hour & Book Drive to benefit Books Are GEMS, a local non-profit focused on literacy in El Paso.

Young Leaders Society Non Profit Board Training

Posted on September 26, 2015

Young Leaders Society Non Profit Board Training

The Young Leaders Society held a Non-Profit Board Training on Saturday, September 26th to help train individuals interested in better serving on non-profits boards. Topics discussed included non-profit budgets, fiduciary responsibilities and fundraising.

Non-Profit Board Training Event

Posted on September 4, 2014

On September 3, 2014, the United Way and the Young Leaders Society hosted a Non-Profit Board Training at the El Paso Club.

Close to 100 individuals attend the event, and community members were able to take the opportunity to network with all 25 of the nonprofits that were present.

El Paso’s United Way Board Member, Janet Aguilar, spoke about the importance of the Young Leaders Society and Brett Wantland, a YLS Advisory Board Member, spoke about our upcoming board training event in November.

Young Leaders Society celebrate community and Chihuahuas

Posted on August 20, 2014

In August 2014, the United Way Young Leaders Society hosted a night out at the ballpark, to support the local community and the El Paso Chihuahuas!

58 people signed up to attend, and we started the night at El Luchador Bar and Restaurant downtown by the ballpark.

Those who attended also brought school supplies with them to donate to kids in the community. Several members participated in a round of musical chairs on the field during the game.

All in all, it was a successful and fun night out and best of all, the Chihuahuas ended up winning!

2014 Census Training Hosted by UWYLS

Posted on June 3, 2014

Have you ever wondered how many people live in El Paso? How about the number of veterans in your community or the poverty rate? If so, you aren’t alone. With so much information on the internet these days how does one find and use this type of data in everyday life? On Friday May 16, 2014, the United Way Young Leaders Society of El Paso hosted a “Using Census Data for Community Analysis” training provided by Pauline Nunez from the Census Bureau to help answer these questions.

Since the first census in 1790, there has been a need for more detailed information other than the constitutionally required population counts. In 1902, the Census Bureau officially opened their doors under the Department of the Interior. Since then it has been collecting data on everything from poverty to healthcare. Data and statistics on every subject imaginable are now available online with just the click of a mouse. With so much endless information at your fingertips, the question still remains on how to filter through all that data and how to apply it to your job, education, and even deciding on where to live.

Pauline Nunez from the Census Bureau provided a basic outline for how individuals can access and use this information. With men and woman in a variety of fields attending the seminar, she was able to give some basic steps for how anyone can collect information. While some wanted to learn how to search detailed facts about veterans in El Paso County for a local non-profit, others wanted to research the changing demographics of Hispanics along the US/Mexico border. The Census Bureau has provided a very streamlined website that allows anyone with access to a computer to find the information they are looking for.

While it was a brief training, the Census Bureau does provide more detailed seminars for those looking for even more in-depth data. Information can be found on their website

Everyone who attended the training left with a better understanding about what data the Census Bureau collects and how to better access that information. Whether you need details on economic disparity in your region or simply have a curiosity about how many people commute to work, the Census Bureau is the place to find it all.

The mission of the United Way Young Leaders Society of El Paso is to engage, educate, and empower young professionals in El Paso to share their efforts and resources to improve our community. We host a number of networking, volunteer, and leadership events throughout the year. If you are interesting in events like this or becoming a member of the United Way Young Leaders Society, please visit the links below.

About United Way Young Leaders Society of El Paso
Become a Member

'Mr. El Paso' wins United Way’s LIVE UNITED Volunteer Award

Posted on April 30, 2014

'Mr. El Paso' wins United Way’s LIVE UNITED Volunteer Award

At the recent United Way Appreciation Luncheon, it was announced that Ray Perez, University of Texas at El Paso Student Way President, was the winner of the 2013 United Way LIVE UNITED Award.

The announcement began with, ‘The first recipient should bear the nickname Mr. El Paso, because he is as involved as he can be in anything that will benefit his community.’

Ray presides over our very first collegiate association: UTEP’s Student United Way, and spent his spring break vacation participating and leading a group of college students during United Way’s Alternative Spring Break program. He has participated in several education initiatives like the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, a children’s book drive and was involved in the Kid’s Way Allocation panel for 2013, all of which benefited education in our community. This person has selflessly and diligently contributed to making a positive impact on the El Paso community.

This award is given to an individual or group who: provide volunteer time for UWEPC over an extended period of time; show outstanding initiative in meeting a community need through UWEPC initiatives; reflect a positive, visible impact in the community for UWEPC; and encourage others to volunteer.

Congratulations, Ray!

2013 Turbo Networking Sponsors

Posted on June 27, 2013

2013 Turbo Networking Sponsors

United Way Young Leaders Society sincerely thanks the 2013 Turbo Networking: Grow Your Network at The Garden sponsors!

It is the vision of the UWYLS Advisory Board and Membership Committee to provide an opportunity for young El Paso professionals to cultivate and grow their networks. Your generous contribution helped make our vision a reality. Participants, who came from diverse employment backgrounds, established new relationships with other professionals through this facilitated speed-networking conversation. They also spoke of their achieved sense of community, support and the opportunities that will help guide El Paso as we enter our new phase of community building.

You are truly appreciated!

YLS Participates in KCOS Art Auction for GYSD

Posted on May 21, 2013

YLS Participates in KCOS Art Auction for GYSD

Surely we can all remember a time when one of our most beloved after school activities was watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, Reading Rainbow or Wishbone. If you share one of these memories, then you too have been touched by KCOS who relies on community funding to maintain its initiatives and programming.

In an effort to support United Way’s world wide event “Global Youth Service Day”, YLS volunteered in KCOS TV’s Live Art Auction on Sunday, April 28. Volunteers who were featured during the live segment were answering phones and maintaining the bid board as dozens of local area residents placed their bids.

“I enjoyed volunteering because it helped me establish new friendships and relationships with other volunteers from the community”, said YLS Board Member Crystal Montoya. “El Paso has great talent and I really enjoyed being in the middle of the excitement as bids were placed from anxious buyers”.

Pieces that were featured at this event were donated by local artists from around El Paso and its surrounding area including Rudy Montoya, Efrin Romero and Tom Lea.

Call For UWYLS Volunteer Action!

Posted on May 11, 2013

Call For UWYLS Volunteer Action!

Hello everyone!

The National Association of Letter Carriers along with United Way of El Paso County (UWEPC), and other partners will conduct the 21st Annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, the nation’s largest single-day food drive, on May 11, 2013. Locally, Stamp Out Hunger’s goal is to collect 100 million pounds of food for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank to distribute to families in need of our community.

We need your help!

The United Way of El Paso County has invited the United Way Young Leaders Society to lead the volunteer efforts for this year’s food drive. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, May 11 at 3:30 pm at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank on 9541 Plaza Circle. Volunteers will be sorting food items and loading carts on to trucks. The end time is undetermined, however, the more hands, the quicker we accomplish our goal. We hope to get about 15-20 volunteers.

If you would like to help Stamp Out Hunger by volunteering please RSVP to Crystal Montoya by May 6th at

Feel free to bring friends and family members to help out too!

Welcome 2013 New Members!

Posted on April 24, 2013

Welcome 2013 New Members!

The United Way Young Leaders’ Society would like to formally welcome it’s newest members:

Bryan Gates

Claudia Fernandez

and Ray Perez!

We are so excited to begin working with each of them, and together, inspire other community leaders to serve, connect and lead.

If you’d like to learn how you can be involved in UWYLS please contact Crystal Montoya, Special Projects Coordinator at

UWYLS Cheers On Their Mighty Mujeres!

Posted on April 20, 2013

UWYLS Cheers On Their Mighty Mujeres!

UWYLS would like to give a shout out to our Mighty Mujeres Shannon Osborne and Bianca Aguilar for their particpation in this year’s Mighty Mujer Triathalon.

The Mighty Mujer Triathlon is an all-female triathalon that starts with a 300-yard swim in an indoor pool. The 15k bike course is followed by a 2-mile run in the Memorial Park area in Central El Paso.

Congratulations mujeres and thank you for being such an inspiration!

UWYLS Hosts Table at Global Youth Service Day Kick-Off!

Posted on April 20, 2013

UWYLS Hosts Table at Global Youth Service Day Kick-Off!

Many of El Paso’s youth are gearing up for Global Youth Service Day weekend which will take place April 26-28th.

This global event draws youth participation from all over the world. Kicking off this weekend’s global volunteer efforts, several of El Paso’s youth hosted a celebration on Saturday, April 20th at the Fort Bliss Trading Post where local organizations got to participate by hosting booths.UWYLS hosted their own booth with fun activities for kids including basketball, ping pong, jump rope and arts and crafts.

Parents who attended were also given information about UWYLS and how they could join. Thank you to all our members who came out and participated in this fun event.

This year, UWYLS will be volunteering at the KCOS Art Auction on Thursday, April 25th from 7 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, April 28th from 2 pm – 5 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm. Volunteers will be answering phones and taking bids from people who call during this live on-air art auction.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marie Ortiz at

UWYLS President Omar Villa Accepts Installation on the United Way of El Paso County Board

Posted on April 16, 2013

UWYLS President Omar Villa Accepts Installation on the United Way of El Paso County Board

The United Way of El Paso County held its Annual Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday, April 16th at the El Paso Marriott.

This event welcomes the community and recognizes its donors and volunteers for their contributions during the past fiscal year. As the president for UWYLS, Omar has a seat on the board to represent young leadership development in the community.

“I am honored to be serving on a board with so many other people who are truly dedicated to our community. I look forward to working with the board to increase participation and community involvement with the next generation of community leaders”, he stated after presenting about United Way of El Paso County’s community engagement efforts at the luncheon. Some of these efforts included Global Youth Service Day, Alternative Spring Break and projects that the United Way Young Leaders’ Society has been working on.

As the affinity group for UWEPC, UWYLS sponosored a table and supported Omar Villa’s installation onto the United Way of El Paso County Board.

Congratulations, Omar!

Demolition Donuts

Posted on April 14, 2013

Demolition Donuts

Demolition weekend deemed to be one of the most memorable events this year for the Sun City. Regardless of anyone’s position on it, Demolition Weekend proved to be a remarkable scene for all those who attended the implosions of City Hall and the Asarco stacks.

On Sunday, April 14th, UWYLS greeted the implosions with a morning tailgate at the Sunset Heights Park. As a community centered organization, being a part of history was so much more than witnessing what looked like a scene out of a Hollywood action movie. The United Way Young Leaders Society prides itself in community engagement through service, leadership and networking. With these two landmarks history, UWYLS is prepared to engage in local efforts to improve the city and move El Paso forward.

Grow Your Network at The Garden

Posted on February 7, 2013

Grow Your Network at The Garden

Mark your calendars for June 20th at The Garden from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm!

UWYLS’ Annual Signature Event – Turbo Networking has been well under way as the planning committee works hard to bring you a fun opportunity to engage with community and business leaders. In an effort to engage young and emerging leaders with harvested professionals, the event reflects a speed-dating atmosphere allowing guests to mingle and network with as many of our sponsors as possible.

Whether you are seeking professional development or hoping to make a connection with a future employer, this event proves year after year that mixing and mingling not only brings you closer to your community leaders but creates endless opportunities for you and your career.

Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non members. Tickets will go on sale in May.

If you’d like to contribute to this event, please contact Crystal Montoya, United Way of El Paso County Special Projects Coordinator at

See you there!

Getting Ready for 2013!

Posted on November 15, 2012

Our annual UWYLS board retreat took place last Saturday, and we have a ton of fun events planned for 2013! Check back soon for information about our new board members and upcoming events.

Join UWYLS Today!

Join the United Way Young Leaders Society to learn valuable leadership skills, network with your peers, and take advantage of wonderful volunteer opportunities!

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