During a most remarkable year amidst a global pandemic, United Way of Martin County launched an innovative new program to cultivate the next generation of philanthropic pioneers. The inaugural class of Students United was comprised of six students from the four Martin County high schools. Student members met monthly to learn about the community's needs and how United Way works to improve education, financial stability and health. They also participated in volunteer opportunities and served on a United Way citizen review panel to help decide where United Way funds are invested.
“Being a part of Students United has been a way for me to learn firsthand how to be of service and make a difference at the local level,” said Ty Raimann, a founding member of Students United and student at South Fork High School.
As part of the citizen review panel, the students reviewed a grant request from House of Hope for its client choice pantry – one of 43 grant requests that United Way of Martin County received this year. During the site visit, they listened to a presentation from House of Hope staff, took a tour of the food pantry and spent an hour volunteering in the nutrition center packaging sandwiches for House of Hope clients.
United Way plans to get feedback from members and expand the program to include more students and activities in the upcoming school year. For more information about the program and how to get involved, visit www.UnitedWayMartin.org/StudentsUnited
Students United founding members are:
- Sophie Bennet, Jensen Beach High School
- Natalie Diez, Martin County High School
- Jocelyn Hlywa, Martin County High School
- Evan McCarthy, Clark Advanced Learning Center
- Tiffany Miller, Martin County High School
- Ty Raimann, South Fork High School
About United Way of Martin County
United Way of Martin County's mission is to lift the community and change lives together through the collective power of advancing the common good. Since 1972, the United Way has been working to create long-term social change and provide support to Martin County residents by investing in programs that strive to: enhance healthy living, improve education, and support financial stability. For more information about United Way of Martin County visit www.unitedwaymartin.org.