United Way Youth Venture, a youth leadership program that got its start in North Central Massachusetts, will now reach students in Maryland due to a $30,000 grant the United Way of Central Maryland received toward the end of 2009 from SimplexGrinnell. The initiative had taken shape over several months as SimplexGrinnell, Tyco International, and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts joined forces to expand United Way Youth Venture, which empowers students to design and launch lasting social ventures that have a positive impact in the community.
“SimplexGrinnell and Tyco are proud to support this collaborative effort to expand United Way Youth Venture,” said Dave Baer, vice president of marketing at SimplexGrinnell, a Tyco International company. “We strongly believe in Youth Venture’s power to change the world, strengthen our communities and create the next generation of leaders.”
Mark S. Furst, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland, said: “We are enthusiastic to be part of the Youth Venture network. This program will allow young people in the region to be part of change firsthand and to see what can happen when they achieve their full potential.”
Under the joint initiative, United Ways throughout the country were asked to submit proposals on how they would implement the school-based program. The United Way of North Central Massachusetts, which founded United Way Youth Venture and nurtured its growth into four other cities nationwide, helped manage the process.
The top 10 applicants were invited to a half-day training session in Leominster, MA, underwritten by SimplexGrinnell, to learn how to implement the program in their community. Following the training session, United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) was announced as the recipient of the $30,000 grant from Tyco to assist in implementing United Way Youth Venture. The local SimplexGrinnell district in Baltimore, one of 150 company-owned offices in North America, is engaged in the Youth Venture effort with UWCM as well.
“The expansion of United Way Youth Venture to other locations where we do business aligns with SimplexGrinnell’s commitment to be a vital part of the communities we serve,” said Bob Chauvin, vice president of Northern Operations for SimplexGrinnell and a board member of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. “This powerful program is cultivating a new generation of leaders and improving our communities in very meaningful ways.”