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.
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
We are looking for highly motivated young professionals who would like to CONNECT with other young professionals, SERVE our community through volunteerism, and LEAD by learning about and tackling our community's challenges. We are building future leaders in Champaign County!
All applicants must provide one letter of recommendation. Recommendations may be from professional, volunteer, or personal sources.
We are looking for applicants who plan to live and/or work in Champaign County for the foreseeable future.
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.
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 CST. Applications 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.