2020 Emerging Community Leaders Program 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. 

2020 Draft Class Calendar and Attendance Requirements

2020 ECL Program Learning Outcomes

Application Deadlines

We encourage everyone interested in ECL to apply early! The ECL class is limited in size each year - the application form will close when we reach 55 applicants.

The 2020 ECL Application Deadline has been EXTENDED to February 6, 2020 at 5pm CST. Letter of Recommendation is due February 7th at 5pm.

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/or 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 will 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 a professional, volunteer, or personal source.

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 February 7, 2020 at 5 pm CSTApplications without letters of recommendation or applications otherwise deemed incomplete will not be considered.  It is not necessary to provide multiple letters.

2020 ECL Application

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

2020 Attendance Requirement

Before applying, please review the 2020 ECL Calendar and attendance requirements.

My Contact Information

Your personal information is protected under United Way of Champaign County's Privacy Policy. Our promise to you: your information will never be shared or sold.

Personal Information
Workplace Information
How did you hear about the ECL program?
How did you hear about the ECL program?

Short Answers

Concise, informational answers will help our selection committee get to know you well. Responses are limited to 150 words. We recommend typing your answers into a word processing program and pasting the responses here. These fields do not accept text formatting (bold, italics, bulleted lists, etc).
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.)

Letter of Recommendation

You can upload your letter of recommendation today (preferred!).

You may also email it separately to the ECL Committee, c/o Mary Noel StefanLetters of recommendation are due by the final application deadline, February 5, 2020 at 12 pm CST. Applications without letters of recommendation or applications otherwise deemed incomplete will not be considered.

File Guidelines:
Acceptable formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx
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