Become a Youth Board Member

Are you interested in learning more about the community? Gaining leadership and teambuilding skills? Consider applying to be a member of the United Way Youth Board. SLO County youth entering 9th-12th grade are eligible for this FUN, FREE program.

Applications for 2022-2023 Youth Board membership. Download an application below.


2022-2023 Youth Board Meeting Calendar


Download our 2019-2020 Youth Board Brochure

Download our Youth Board Statistics Flyer.

Youth Board Summary


Questions? Contact Linda or call (805) 541-1234. Please download an application and submit by September 30, 2022.  Limited positions available. Apply Today! 

Youth Grants


Each year, the United Way Youth Board accepts applications for $1,000 grant awards to local groups that have created projects having a positive impact on youth (up to age 19). All applications are peer-reviewed by members of the Youth Board, our group of high school students seeking to increase philanthropy and leadership in San Luis Obispo County youth, and improve programs to better serve our community.




Student-submitted applications have an adult ally and a sponsoring organization. This organization can be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, school, or faith-based organization. Strong projects allow the youth group planning the project to gain knowledge and skills. It will primarily benefit youth in the community, not just the project planners, and should be both creative and realistic.

Youth Board Grant Seekers Workbook - 2020






*Established by the 08-09 Youth Board


The mission of the UWSLO Youth Board is to develop youth leadership and opportunities in the community by building awareness and making an impact through involvement in the United Way decision making process through awarding grants to local organizations.


The United Way Youth Board envisions the development of a community in which all youths feel inspired to participate in community service while bettering themselves and San Luis Obispo County.  

The United Way of San Luis Obispo County Youth Board is a unique volunteer experience that gives youth the control and responsibility of their projects.  Up to thirty-five students serve as a United Way Youth Board of Directors and are given the opportunity to make a direct impact on their peers by addressing the needs of their community and awarding grants to local organizations.  Each month, students from across the county meet to learn about SLO County and discuss community issues.  At the end of the year, the board awards at least three $1,000 grants to local organizations that are making a difference.  Members of the Youth Board represent the youth of the community, connect with community leaders and provide feedback about youth issues.  They also participate in United Way projects and events, manage fundraising campaigns, and learn about the community and other local nonprofit organizations.  Participating students are required to commit to at least one full term (September through June), and may miss up to FOUR meetings.  Call (805) 541-1234 for more information.

The Youth Board meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM unless otherwise notified. Thank you to French Hospital for the complimentary use of the Copeland Health Education Pavillion Auditorium.

Youth Board would like to recognize and thank Balance Treatment for their continued support and sponsorship of this program.


Balance Treatment Center logo


2018-2019 Youth Board promoting 2-1-1 SLO County in this TV spot


10th Anniversary Youth Board Celebration Video

Music Video

This music video was created by our 2014-15 Youth Board to express how much fun they had being a part of the board.


Started in March 2018, members of the United Way Youth Board recorded Episode 1 of their radio show, Youth2You. Continuing in 2019, listen to recent episodes that are aired LIVE on KYXZ LP 107.9 FM in South SLO County, Youth2You is a youth radio show about what high school students think about current events and how they relate to our community. Listen to episodes below:  


Youth Board - Why LIVE UNITED video!

"My family would like to thank you for providing the Youth Board program. My daughter has learned the procedures and effectiveness of structure and making a difference through serving on the United Way Youth Board. She had continued what she has learned from United Way in other areas of her life which include college, service work, and commitment to her school and family. I am pleased that she has learned through her experiences participating with United Way. Continue your good work!" Noreen Martin, CEO of Martin Resorts, Inc.

Stuff the Bus 2022 is here - IN PERSON!


Join in United Way of San Luis Obispo County's 14th Annual STUFF THE BUS!

It’s that time again to stuff our school buses with needed school supplies for local students!  This much needed event continued during Covid 19 which resulted in collecting thousands of school supplies distributed to your school district's youth and families in need.  This year we are back in person and very excited!

More than ever, many local students and teachers are in need of the supplies necessary to begin the year successfully.  For the past 13 years we have partnered with local school districts to get these school supplies to the kids and families who need them most.  

United Way of San Luis Obispo invites local businesses who want to participate by setting up their own collection sites for employees and customers!  Online donations can also be completed.  For more information please email






Check out these great features from our media sponsor,


Thank you to American General Media for sponsoring our Radio PSA's!










Thank you 1st Capital Bank and Dignity Health-French Hospital for your continued sponsorship!


Why is this important?

In 2019, the number of homeless people throughout San Luis Obispo County increased by 32% with at least 10% being children.  In 2020-21, 45% of San Luis Obispo County students were eligible for free/reduced price meals (  Research based upon the U.S. Department of Education and the 2013 U.S. Census, reflects 2.5 million children in America-one in every 30 children-go to sleep without a home each year.  

Stuff the Bus helps ease the financial burden placed upon our families, promotes learning, encourages
self-esteem and helps kids stay in school. Students who receive backpacks and supplies are those who are considered
low income, socioeconomically disadvantaged or homeless — they live in shelters, motels, sheds, garages and other
places not originally meant for human habitation.

The impact of homelessness on children, especially young children, is devastating and may lead to changes in brain architecture that can affect learning, emotional self regulation, cognitive skills, and social relationships.  Homeless children are more likely than other children to experience hunger and malnutrition, and to develop physical and mental health problems (2). Emotional distress, developmental delays, and decreased academic achievement are also more common among this population (2). Many of these children and youth experience deep poverty, family instability, and exposure to domestic violence before becoming homeless, and homelessness increases their vulnerability to additional trauma (1, 2). In addition to the risks faced by homeless children, including increased vulnerability to sexual exploitation, youth without homes are far more likely than their peers to be infected with HIV and have other serious health problems (2, 3, 4).

With the support of local partners, volunteers, and members of our community, Stuff the Bus collects supplies such as backpacks, binders, pens/pencils, and notebooks to distribute throughout the county located in five school districts (PRJUSD, AUSD, SLCUSD, LMUSD and Coast USD). 

Sources for this narrative:

1.  Bassuk, E. L., et al. (2014). America’s youngest outcasts: A report card on child homelessness. National Center on Family Homelessness. Retrieved from:

2.  American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Community Pediatrics. (2013). Providing care for children and adolescents facing homelessness and housing insecurity. Pediatrics, 131(6), 1206-1210. Retrieved from:

3.  Walker, K. (2013). Ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children: A call for multi-system collaboration in California. California Child Welfare Council. Retrieved from:

4.  California Homeless Youth Project. (2014). HIV and youth homelessness: Housing as health care. Retrieved from:

5.  National Center for Homeless Education. (2017). Federal data summary school years 2013-14 to 2015-16: Education for homeless children and youth. Retrieved from:


Since we started the Imagination Library program in SLO County, more than 20,000 books have been mailed to local children!

Each child enrolled in the program receives a new, age-appropriate book every month from enrollment through five years of age. From their first book, “The Little Engine That Could”, through the last book of the series, “Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come,” all books are reviewed and selected by a panel of experts.

With United Way covering the cost of enrollment for many children, Imagination Library is especially valuable to low-income families who may find books to be an unaffordable luxury.  However, the number of children we can enroll is determined by the amount of generous donations we receive. 

Your donation to Imagination Library helps give the gift of literacy to local children. $50 will enroll a child for one year, and $250 enrolls them from birth until their 5th birthday! Will you help sponsor a child for the Imagination Library program?

One year enrollment = $50
Two year enrollment = $100
Three year enrollment = $150
Four year enrollment = $200
Five year enrollment = $250

To make a donation to Imagination Library, please visit our donation page or call us at (805) 541-1234.  

Studies show that if a child can read at grade level by the time she or he is in fourth grade, they increase their chances of succeeding in middle school and graduating on time from high school. This program gets children excited about reading and before they even enter kindergarten, they can have their own personal library. It also helps strengthen families by encouraging positive interaction between adults and children through shared reading.

Developed in 1996 by writer and singer Dolly Parton, the Imagination Library is intended to encourage a love of reading and learning. Her impoverished childhood and father’s illiteracy inspired the country legend to create the program in her native Sevier County, Tennessee. Since then, the Imagination Library has delivered over 132,397,655 million books around the world, and on February 27, 2018, the 100 millionth book was dedicated to the Library of Congress.



Check out the USA Book List for all 60 books! 

Imagination Library is generously sponsored by Friends of the late Larry Baur, C.P.A.