2019 Emerging Community Leaders Program Application

2019 Emerging Community Leaders Application

Thank you for considering United Way's Emerging Community Leaders program! We believe this is the best program for young professionals looking to get involved in our community's nonprofit sector and meet other community-minded people.

The ECL program is offered FREE OF CHARGE thanks to our sponsor, Barham Benefit Group, and the support of the United Way Board of Directors.


Calendar and Program Overview

Before submitting your application, take some time to get to know our ECL program and make sure it's a good fit for you. Please review the information in the two documents below.

2019 Proposed Class Calendar and Attendance Requirements

2019 Program Overview
Application Deadlines

Our Early Application Deadline is Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at noon. We encourage everyone interested in ECL to apply early! The ECL class is limited in size each year and the selection process is competitive.

The Final Application Deadline is February 6, 2019 at noon. This deadline includes your letter of recommendation and is firm.

ECL Candidate Selection Information
  1. We are looking for highly motivated young professionals who would like to CONNECT with other young professionals, SERVE our community through volunteerism, an​d LEAD by learning about and tackling our community's challenges. We are building future leaders in Champaign County!

  2. All applicants must provide one letter of recommendation. Recommendations may be from professional, volunteer, or personal sources.

  3. We are looking for applicants who plan to live and work in Champaign County for the foreseeable future.

  4. The ECL program is coordinated for young professionals between 21 and 40 years of age. Our program is unable to accept full-time undergraduate students.

  5. We may limit the size of the class to ensure everyone participating has a meaningful experience. The selection process is competitive and not all applicants may be admitted.

A Note on Letters of Recommendation

The letter of recommendation is important in our selection process. All ECL candidates must provide one letter of recommendation. The letter should share what the ECL candidate may gain from our program, and provide insight into the candidate’s interest in serving the community. Recommendations may be from professional, volunteer, or personal sources.

We cannot admit anyone to the ECL program without a letter of recommendation.  You can upload your letter of recommendation with the online application - OR - you may email it separately to the ECL Committee, c/o Mary Noel Stefan. Letters of recommendation are due by the final application deadline, February 6, 2019 at noonApplications without letters of recommendation or applications otherwise deemed incomplete will not be considered.  It is not necessary to provide multiple letters.

2019 ECL Application

Before filling out the application, be sure to take a look at the Class Calendar and attendance requirements.

Before applying, please review the 2019 ECL Calendar and attendance requirements, available above. By checking this box, you affirm that you have read and understand the program attendance requirements.
All communication for the ECL class is done via email. Please list an address that you check frequently. If applicable, please add mary@uwayhelps.org to your "Safe Senders" list.
If applicable, please share the name(s) of the person(s) who told you about ECL:
We ask this question so we can best tailor the ECL program content to the participants.
Please list any volunteer activities you are currently involved with or have been involved with over the past five years (i.e. committees, organizations, special events, board seats, etc.) Concise, informational answers will help our selection committee get to know you better.
Please give an example of your leadership/team work, either in the workplace or a volunteer setting. Concise, informational answers will help our selection committee get to know you better.
The goal of ECL is to help young professionals CONNECT, SERVE and LEAD in Champaign County. What do you personally hope to gain by participating in the 2019 ECL program? Concise, informational answers will help our selection committee get to know you better. Please do not exceed 200 words.


All applicants must provide one letter of recommendation. Recommendations may be from professional, volunteer, or personal sources and should be no more than 1 page.

For your convenience, you may attach your letter of recommendation here. Acceptable files are .PDF, .DOC, .DOCX, or .JPG. Maximum file size is 1MB (1000KB).

If you do not upload a letter of recommendation today, please send your letter no later than February 6, 2019 at noon to the ECL Committee, c/o Mary Noel Stefan:

Email: mary@uwayhelps.org

Mail: United Way of Champaign County ATTN: Mary Noel Stefan, 5 Dunlap Court, Savoy, IL 61874


Please submit your Letter of Recommendation by February 6, 2019 at noon. Applications without a recommendation will not be considered.

Files must be less than 5 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx.
PRIVACY POLICY: United Way of Champaign County values the trust of our supporters. The purpose of the Emerging Community Leaders program is to build relationships and to make our community a better place. To facilitate this, you will receive professional contact information for your fellow class members. Your home contact information will never be shared with class members or any other organizations, pursuant to United Way's Privacy Policy. Class members who are aggressively soliciting fellow ECL class members will be immediately dismissed from the program.
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