Issue #27| May 2020
Hello Changemakers - from all of us here at United Way Youth Venture!

We hope you are all continuing to stay safe and healthy! We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon.

We recently announced our UWYV 2020 Scholarship winners. We recognized three high school seniors and awarded them scholarships from the United Way Youth Venture program for their involvement in their communities.

Kylee McCumber , from Leominster, who attends the Winchendon School , was the recipient of the Bob Chauvin Leadership Award . Ethan Chandler , from Fitchburg High School , and Olivia Wells , from Oakmont Regional High School , were each awarded the United Way Youth Venture Scholarship .

We were unable to honor them in person at the annual United Way Thank You Event so we are doing our best to recognize them here with this series of interviews highlighting the best and brightest leaders in North Central MA!

Click here to watch their video interviews with Lauren Mountain!
As always, we appreciate you and thank you for your continued support!

~the United Way Youth Venture Team!
Have you had a chance to view some of Jake VanHillo's " Changemaker Check In " videos? He is getting quite clever and creative but he's missing hearing from you. So be sure to comment. Click here for the UWYV YouTube Channel to view his video series!
Spotlight on Sky View’s UWYV Champion Sharyn Tomasso
by Kristi Maloney

What does our UWYV Champion (who happens to be an extrovert) do during this time of social distancing? She continues to make friends and collaborate with those new friends to support our community in this time of need.

Who is the Changemaker that I am I talking about?

It’s our Sky View Middle School Champion Sharyn Tomasso . Read on to find out what she has been doing and how she is focused on the positive aspects emanating from this time of social distancing due to COVID-19.

Click here for the interview!
New segment: Where Are They Now? Featuring UWYV Venturer Caleb VanHillo
by Kristi Maloney

Our very own UWYV Outreach Liaison, Jake VanHillo interviewed his 19-year-old brother Caleb VanHillo as a student who participated in Youth Venture. Like many students, Caleb started UWYV in middle school. But for Caleb, that was only the beginning! In fact, he took part in UWYV for three years, received a UWVY Scholarship and based on his aspirations, will continue to be a Changemaker for his community in the years to come.

Caleb attends MWCC and will graduate this year with an Associate’s Degree in Chemistry. He will continue his education at the University of MA in Lowell to complete his Bachelor’s and his Master’s Degrees in Biomedical Engineering. He plans to become a prosthetist, which is a person who builds prosthetics for people who need them.

Caleb first participated in UWYV at Murdock Middle School. His Team was called the Cool Cats and they raised money to buy and donate supplies to the local animal shelter in Winchendon.

Two years later, he was on the Team The First Day Warriors (also while at Murdock). The Team partnered with the Wounded Warriors Outreach to donate care packages to homeless vets.

Click here to read the rest of the story!
UWYV Virtual Team Launches, Fundraisers and Composting – Why Not? by Kristi Maloney

Just because we all continue our social distancing, it doesn’t mean that UWYV students stop Changemaking. When it comes to the ideas of UWYV virtual team launches, fundraisers and composting at Samoset – why not? UWYV students are Changemakers all-the-time! 

I was able to virtually meet with four of our UWYV Samoset students with the help of their Champion Francine Meigs who set-up the Google Meet. It was really nice to speak with Hersh Patel and Nathaniel Anim from the recently launched team Wildcats Sports for Kids. This is the team that will fundraise to pay sports fees for fellow students whose families can’t afford them. 

Click here to read the full post!
Spotlight on Gardner High School’s UWYV Champion Thuy Bui
by Kristi Maloney

Our UWYV GHS Champion/Changemaker Thuy Bui has been volunteering at the Gardner Public Schools Meals Program during this time of social distancing. It is Gardner schoolteachers, like Thuy, that have been filling many of the volunteer spots. Thuy misses her students, and this is one way that she can see her students and fulfill a real community need.   

Before the school shutdown, Thuy was involved in the cultivation of UWYV Team Gardner Grow’s community garden. This Team had a successful garden last summer.

Click here to read the full interview!
Interested in writing for the official UWYV blog? Our audience wants to hear from YOU!

The Venturer Voice blog seeks students, Champions, Allies and community contributors to write pieces for our official blog!