Rising Leaders

United Way of Henderson County created the Rising Leaders program to help the next generation of community leaders gain the skills and tools needed to connect as board members and volunteers with the nonprofit community.

Rising Leaders attend monthly sessions from August through March on topics such as board member roles and responsibilities, fundraising, and nonprofit life cycles. Sessions also include an opportunity to visit nonprofit organizations to experience their work first-hand. The final session includes a speed matching event with representatives from 20 nonprofits networking with each of the Rising Leaders.

Participants include many young professionals, as well as those re-entering the workforce and professionals who are new to the area and have an interest in learning more about local nonprofit participation.

We are now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 Rising Leaders cohort.

Click here to access the online application. Deadline for applying is July 31, 2024

Requirements to successfully complete the Rising Leaders Program are: 

  • Attend at least 5 out of 6 informational sessions and graduation 
  • Attend a board of directors meeting at a Henderson County nonprofit organization and complete a related homework assignment
  • Complete a group service project

Session Schedule & Topics (subject to change)

  • August 16, 9am-1pm: Orientation Trolley Tour
  • September 25, 11am-1pm: Board Basics 
  • October 23, 11am – 1pm: Culture of Belonging 
  • November 20, 11am – 1pm: Finance and Legal (Part 1)
  • (Optional) December 11, 4:30 – 6pm: Holiday Drop-in 
  • January 22, 11am-1pm: Finance and Legal (Part 2)
  • February 19, 11am-1pm: Fundraising 
  • Early March – Graduation and Speed-Matching Event

Congratulation to the 2023-2024 Rising Leader Graduates

  • Brandon Adams
  • Gina Baxter
  • Angela Bollo-Higgins
  • Travis Bonnema
  • Stephanie Bryan
  • Jennifer Cauley
  • Eric China 
  • Rachelle Dugan
  • Spring Dungan 
  • Elana Flanigan
  • Jordan Hall
  • Julia Haverstock
  • Valerie Hoffman
  • Katie Hutchinson
  • Nakita Jackson
  • Meredith Mitchell 
  • Justice Mullen
  • Kristen Ollila
  • Yadira Ortiz
  • Michelle Reynolds
  • Belem Solano Miraflores

Graduates are already making a strong impact in our community. Many of them have been recruited to serve on committees, boards of directors, and in other key roles of local non-profit organizations.

For more information on the Rising Leaders program, please email Mary Ellen Kustin.

Thank you to our generous sponsors whose support allows Rising Leaders program to be free to all participants.





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Rising Leaders 2024 Graduates



Rising Leaders 2024 Graduates

Rising Leaders 2024 Graduates