United Way announces bold goals and this year's kick-off guest speaker

United Way of Miami County’s 2015 campaign theme is “Connecting the Dots” navigating obligations, expectations, and goals in work and personal life. United Way of Miami County will continue to use their current efforts to increase educational attainment in Miami County by partnering with Miami County College and Career Success Coalition.  Their partnership with Miami County Resource Network will also be used to support the implementation of financial and health education programs for under-resourced Miami County residents, promoting health and self-sufficiency” said Executive Director Debi Wallick.

United Way of Miami County and our community partners are working to develop long-term solutions in the areas of education, financial stability, and health, as well as supporting safety net services. These are the building blocks for a good life – a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement and good health for a more productive life.

United Way of Miami County’s partnership with the Miami County College and Career Success Coalition is to help increase the number of high school seniors succeed academically and are prepared to attend a post-secondary/technical school/career.

The United Way of Miami County and Miami County College and Career Success Coalition’s goal is to:  

  • Let families and students know that it is important to navigate college financial aid requirements and to make sure their financial aid is in order during the student’s senior year of high school.
  • Help educate families how to complete their FAFSA and learn about other financial aid deadlines.
  • Market PLAN, PSAT, ACT, SAT and AP tests, as well as other important dates.

The current economy has also revealed the dire need for citizens in Miami County to have financial literacy skills. Lack of financial knowledge has contributed to significant home foreclosures and an increasing number of bankruptcies in our county. Available courses focus on the basics of money management and target those who want to improve their debt management and plan their finances better. Fundamentals include tracking expenses, identifying spending leaks, identifying needs vs. wants, establishing written goals and developing spending and savings plans.

The United Way of Miami County recently adopted a new strategic plan through 2020. The organization’s mission is to provide direction and accountability to promote education, health, and financial independence. Their vision is to enhance the lives of all Miami County citizens. The three areas focused on their 2020 bold goals are in education, income, and health.

Education – help youth and adults achieve their full potential in academics, work, and life

  • 85% of children prepared for kindergarten
  • 95% of youth will graduate from high school
  • 30% of adults will have a post-secondary degree or certificate

Income – to help promote financial stability and independence among individuals and families

  • 50% reduction in the number of low-income families who are financially dependent over the next five years
  • 95% of the workforce will be employed

Health – helping people lead healthy and productive lives

  • Healthcare needs for the most vulnerable residents will be meet
  • 25% more residents will adopt a healthier lifestyle
  • 95% of the community affiliated with a primary provider

This year’s United Way Campaign Kick-Off will be held on August 21 at IVY Tech with Dr. Susan Sciame-Giesecke, Chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo as the guest speaker. Dr. Sciame-Giesecke will focus on Increasing Life Sustainability for All – Many Different Paths to Economic Success. Dr. Sciame-Giesecke is the seventh Chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo, after contributing to many areas across the campus for 37 years. As chancellor, she is taking bold steps, working with sister regional campuses to advocate for the importance of higher education as a benefit to everyone, improving retention and graduation rates in those regions, and leading regional partnerships in education, business and economic growth, and research.

Her presentation will focus on the need for all students, both traditional and non-traditional, to rigorously pursue personal, economic success based on their talents, interests, and abilities.  Matching those talents, interests, and abilities to the needs of the local economy elevates the standard of living and helps communities like Peru, Indiana grow.  This is in line with the Success Coalition grant that acknowledges that there is no one right path for all learners.  She will present evidence that reinforces the importance of advanced manufacturing training to elevate needed skills in the workforce to assist the economy in Miami County.  Removing financial barriers to college and/or career entrance will be discussed. This includes providing scholarships for SAT and ACT examinations. 

  • There is no one right path for all.
    • Motivate non-traditional students to pursue that extra degree or certificate that may make the difference for their career
    • Removing barriers to college/career entrance (FAFSA Completion)
    • Providing Scholarships for SAT/ACT testing opportunities
    • Reinforce the importance of Advanced Manufacturing training to elevate needed skills in the workforce that assist the local economy

To make a reservation for this year’s campaign kick-off call the United Way office at 765-473-4240. Again the United Way is looking for volunteers to help with this year’s campaign.  If interested, please contact Dave Noonan, Becky Saddlemire or the United Way office.  To give, to advocate, or to volunteer with the United Way, please visit the United Way of Miami County website at www.uwmiamip.org or call (765) 473-4240.