WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Alana Sweeny, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Westchester and Putnam calls residents to get involved and make a difference.
It is easy to listen to the news and feel helpless and overwhelmed. But when we all come together to solve complex issues we are incredibly powerful -- with each one of us having a vital role to play in making a difference. I have always been impressed with the schools in our area. But recently I was shocked to find that, while some neighborhoods have a graduation rate of 98 percent, pockets of our community have only 54 percent of the students graduating with their peers. This is as bad as some schools in New York City! United Way has been bringing together nonprofits, community members, government and business leaders to discuss this issue and I have seen a growing commitment to reach out to our most vulnerable children and get them on the right track. Together, we have now pledged to recruit 100 new mentors and tutors, start a new after-school program in White Plains, measure results and meet several times a year to discuss successes. Kudos should be given to Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester, Child Care Council of Westchester, Curran Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Entergy and the Family Society of Yonkers, Green Chimney’s, Passage to Excellence, PepsiCo employees, Student Advocacy, The Guidance Center, United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Volunteer New York!, Westchester Jewish Community Services, and Westhab, who are just a few of the groups who have come together with United Way to make headway on this issue. You, too, can change a life and a community by donating or volunteering. The child you help today, could help make tomorrow’s news much brighter! You can get involved by visiting our website at http://www.uwwp.org/smartstart.shtml . Respectfully, Alana Sweeny,
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