Good News Network June 2018

The Faces of United Way of Southern Arizona

United Way is excited to enter into a new workplace campaign year with a fresh look. In order to demonstrate our message that we serve Tucson and Southern Arizona, we found members of the community, directly involved or impacted by our work. Here is a glimpse at some of the faces you'll soon see more of around the city, promoting our message: UNITED WE ALL WIN. Click here to see more. 
Circle of Excellence: Celebrating Local Champions 

We are constantly humbled by the support of our community champions; the people in our community taking time to ensure that Southern Arizona thrives. Each year, we celebrate those community champions at our Circle of Excellence Luncheon. This year, the event was held last month at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. We gave out dozens of awards to much-deserving recipients making a difference in and around Tucson. Among them, the Michael J. Harris Spirit of Tucson Award, is given to the company that demonstrates excellence in corporate involvement and community leadership. This year, GEICO took home that prestigious award. Below is a list of some of our other winners. Click here to see the entire list and for more information on the event.  

Best of the Best Employee Campaign Leader of the Year: Jen Wolf (GEICO)
LIVE UNITED Award:  Pima Council on Aging 
Building a Better Community Award:  QuikTrip
Cornerstone Award:  AGM Container Controls, Inc.
Young Leaders Society Company of the Year:  Texas Instruments
Champions of Caring Award:  GEICO
Partnership Award:  UPS & Teamsters Local Union 104
All American Award:  Collette Brown
Best Small Company:  Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Best Medium Company:  QuikTrip
Best Large Company:  Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.
Click here to see more photos from the event. 
United Way: Explained

At United Way our vision is a community where every child receives a high-quality education from cradle to career, every adult has the opportunity to thrive financially and in the workplace, and every older person can retire and age with dignity and independence. That vision is what drives our work in Tucson and Southern Arizona. We often get asked what we do. Here is a short video explaining how we touch the lives of more than 120,000 people each year in Southern Arizona. We encourage you to share this video with others who may want to get involved or who can benefit from our many programs. For more information on the services we provide and how you can get involved, click here. 
You've got Projects, We've got Volunteers

Know a nonprofit, school, daycare center, senior center, or neighborhood association that needs a little help? Project submission is now open for the 19th Annual United Way Days of Caring. Thousands will gather for Southern Arizona's single- largest  volunteer event on F riday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th.  

We're also  partnering with Hope Fest on October 27th. You need help, we need projects. Submit your projects by July 17th to be entered into a drawing for a $500 stipend toward your project.  Projects range from painting,  gardening and picking up trash to  reading to children, walking dogs and cleaning. Whatever your project, big or small, let us know. Email us by clicking here. For more information on Days of Caring and incredible sponsorship opportunities, click here.
Leaving a Legacy of Learning

United Way is excited and proud to introduce the Great Expectations Legacy Projects. These are projects put together by United Way and all of our partners in the Communities of Practice, left directly to teachers and to children indirectly.  Each partner involved had to develop something that would help teachers organize their work, be a resource guide, and/or be actual instructional tools or devices. This was the brainchild of Naomi Karp, the Senior Director of Early Childhood Professional Development at United Way of Tucson (see People Profile below). Naomi decided to put these projects on display in an expo last month for the early childhood community. The expo was an incredible success, with more than 100 attendees, many of whom did not want to leave! 

Naomi decided the administrative group would also contribute two legacy gifts. The first, a book honoring people who received degrees as a result of being a part of the community of practice. The women in the book were nominated by their instructors/Community of Practice coordinators, using some pretty strict criteria. We had a graduation party for the six on June 2nd. Of the six women, 1 is working on her Master's Degree at the U of A, 1 has a Bachelor's in Ed from the U of A, and 4 have earned Associate's Degrees from Pima College.

The second legacy gift is a book of classroom and playground activities for all the child care centers that had staff members recently attend our Communities of Practice. The activities are based on research knowledge about how children learn, what children need in order to develop social-emotional, language, physical, and cognitive skills that are needed for successful transitions into kindergarten. Click here to learn more about Great Expectations and the Communities of Practice. 
People Profile: Meet Naomi Karp

The woman behind the Legacy Projects has been leaving quite a legacy of her own, not just with United Way or Southern Arizona, but with early education as a whole here in the United States.  Naomi Karp is a pillar here at United Way. Known for her lifetime of experience, extensive knowledge, huge heart and quick wit, Naomi is our Senior Director of Early Childhood Professional Development. She was born and raised in Tucson, the 3rd of 5 children for her parents, both local attorneys who set high standards for their children. Naomi received her Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Arizona before returning for her Master's in Special Education. She  taught children for nine and a half years in Tucson public schools before moving to Washington, DC with her two children and husband, Gene, who became chief of staff to Senator  Dennis DeConcini of Arizona. 

Over the next few decades, Naomi went on to teach children with special needs, she worked for the U.S. Department of Education managing grants focused on children and young adults with disabilities, she taught others to write grants and helped develop the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health. Naomi went on to head an initiative that focused on starting a new Early Childhood Research Institute in the Department of Education where they funded the Department's first early childhood research center from which much of the research people cite today derives.

Naomi's favorite achievement in Washington was getting the Department of Education to give her enough money to fund a special study at the National Academy of Sciences. The study answered three key questions about early childhood education and the study findings were released in a book  Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers. The findings and recommendations changed conversations and actions in the early childhood field. After 20 years, Naomi brought that experience back to her home, here in Tucson and now utilizes it helping local children and educators with her work here at United Way. 

Naomi's history is rich with accomplishments that far exceed the scope of this publication. Read about the the criticism that provoked her to leave the Department of Education, what brought her to United Way, and what she loves most about Tucson and what she does here in her full interview. Click here to read it and get inspired!
United Youth Leadership Council Gets a Bigger Voice

The United Youth Leadership Council (UYLC) is getting a new look and a bigger presence here in Southern Arizona. The  UYLC has been an integral part of Cradle to Career's Youth on the Rise change network in working to improve employment and educational systems to better serve Pima County's population of over 21,000 Opportunity Youth (16-24-year-olds who are disconnected from work and school). The UYLC has been comprised of four to six  young people in an effort to draw on the wisdom of lived experience . 
Youth on the Rise recently recommitted to building capacity of the UYLC to amplify youth voice and involvement in effectively co-developing solutions. They're now hiring a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA to facilitate capacity building; redesigning a membership contract to provide a clear and supportive structure and expectations; giving United Way email accounts to encourage professional development; and adding a partnership with Young Leaders Society (YLS) to purchase and fund smartphones and data plans for two administrative youth council members. They've also recreated their logo (pictured left and above, proudly worn by United Way employees). These improvements, along with those to come, are necessary in furthering the work of Youth on the Rise as the UYLC continues to call attention to the complex array of logistical, bureaucratic, and emotional challenges faced by young adults in their journeys to reconnect to work and/or education.  
Get involved! Get Social! Get on the Bus!

If you're looking for a way to give back to our community, meet other like-minded individuals and have a great time, we've got just the thing. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona 's Young Leaders Society (YLS) is hosting a Dive Bar Social Bus Tour on Saturday, July 21 from 5-11pm! This event is open to anyone, not just current YLS members. Tickets are $25 but you can get two for $40 if you purchase them by July 6th. All proceeds go to benefit Youth on the Rise (youth ages 16-24 who are on a path to re-engaging with their education and career). For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here. 
Thanks for reading

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