United Way team travels to Duke

Last week, dodging the polar vortex and rescheduling flights both to and from, the United Way team made it to Raleigh-Durham, NC, to begin their work with the Duke CASE Change Academy. In December United Way in Ottawa County’s vision of expanding the Cradle to Career program to create a community wide mentorship program here in Ottawa County was one of six programs nationally awarded six months of consultive services with the CASE Academy’s renowned Dan Heath. United Way in Ottawa County’s community-wide mentorship program endeavors to match youth 1-on-1 with adults who are ready to serve and support them, so our youth can realize their dreams.

Shanna Strouse of Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools in Oak Harbor; Chris Galvin, Area Director of United Way in Ottawa County; and Karen Mathison, United Way of Greater Toledo President/CEO joined the 15 other participants in the CASE Academy cohort. There were three leaders each from the national Teach for America initiative; Community Solutions - Brownsville Partnership of Brooklyn, NY; Year Up–National Capital Region of Washington; The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, NC; and Communities Foundation of Texas. 

“This was by far the most beneficial and efficient seminar I have ever attended. It was energizing and humbling to be a part of this group, and to learn not only from Dan Heath and his team, but also from the other participants, some of whom are managing programs that will affect thousands of people and that may well be rolled out nationally,” said Galvin. “Our aspiration is that what we begin here in Ottawa County will not only help our youth, our families and our community, but will likewise have a national impact. With the support of the CASE program and the support of the community, that goal is realistic.” 

The United Way team has begun to implement the first phase of the program. For more information, or to be in on the ground floor of this innovative and bold social change endeavor, contact Chris Galvin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 419.734.6645.

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