Young Leaders Society

United Way Young Leaders Society (YLS) is a group of passionate young professionals who come together to educate, engage and inspire individuals across Greater Stark County. We harness our time and talents through mentorship, fundraising and volunteerism to activate education initiatives and build a better community.



Share college & career advice with a local student!

Volunteer to participate in the Young Leaders Society Pen Pal Project as a way of sharing encouragement and inspiration to local high school seniors planning for their college career.

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Become a Member

Give your time and talents to education service projects and planning committees. Grow your network with community-minded young professionals. Guide the future leaders of greater Stark County.

Our Focus

Education sets the foundation for the future, and it is the area where we believe we can make the greatest impact. As young leaders, our personal and professional success would not have been possible without support from mentors, teachers and advocates who helped us along the way. Now we’re paying it forward for the next generation.

Prepare children to start school ready to learn and thrive


Support young people with high-quality, compassionate mentorship


Help students plan for success in a career or college

Our Initiatives

Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events › Young Leaders Society

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November 2020

YLS Virtual College Planning Seminar

November 7 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Young Leaders Society Virtual College Planning Seminar Saturday November 7th, 1 – 2:30pm For high school students, planning for college is much more than filling out an application. It’s an exciting – and at times challenging – process. But with the right help, we can make it a little easier. United Way of Greater Stark County's Young Leaders Society is hosting a virtual College Planning Seminar for high school seniors and their families. Presented by Courtney Johnson-Benson, Senior Assistant Director…

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March 2021

Canton Prom

March 27, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Royal Docks Brewhouse & Cannery, 5646 Wales Avenue NW
Massillon, OH 44646 United States
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Join us for the annual Young Leaders Society fundraising event!

Proceeds from this event fund a scholarship which YLS offers to first-generation college students in the area. Your ticket purchase will help support the academic success of local students.

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Steering Committee

  • Heather Baker, AultCare
  • Aly Brine, Aly Brine Coaching
  • Kathryn Cusma, Brown Local Schools
  • Emily Gordon, Artful Living Program
  • Courtney Johnson-Benson, The University of Akron
  • Autaum Kendle, Community Volunteer
  • Deanna Kidwell, Schauer Group, Inc.
  • Ricky Lovell, Meyers Lake YMCA, Vice Chair
  • Molly McDougal, The Karcher Group, Chair
  • Alison Oyler, The Karcher Group
  • Mandy Pelger, Canton City School District
  • Brett Pinson, Employers Health
  • Timothy Ruby, The Karcher Group, Chair
  • Drew Tornow, Sirak Financial Services
  • Matthew Widders, TimkenSteel Corporation

Contact us for details about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

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