Youth Board

Quick Links:  Rooftop Soiree   Become a Youth Board Member    Youth Grants

Join the Youth Board at their Annual fundraiser, the Rooftop Soiree - click here for tickets!


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.  Thirty-five students serve as a United Way 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 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, run 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 May), and may miss up to six 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. Thank you to French Hospital for the complimentary use of the Copeland Health Education Pavillion Auditorium.

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

Become a Youth Board Member

Are you a 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. Applications for 2018-2019 Youth Board members will be available in Spring 2018. 

Download our Youth Board information trifold.


Download our Youth Board Statistics Flyer.


Youth Board Summary


Questions? Contact Rachel or call (805) 541-1234.

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. Congratuations to the 2017 Youth Grants:

  • Jack's Helping Hand - Little Riders Therapeutic Riding Program
  • Judkins Middle School/Ms. Babka's AVID class - The Power of Imagination through Art"
  • Oceano Elementary School/Mr. DeCecco's 5th grade class - "Oceano Dolphins Grow Healthy"
  • San Luis Obispo FFA - "Bottomless Basket Project"

Student-submitted applications must 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.

Download the workbook to begin an application. Deadline: March 4, 2018. 


"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.

Youth Essay Contest

Best-selling author Max Brooks spoke at the Spanos Theatre in April 2015 about his latest book, The Harlem Hellfighters. The graphic novel tells the riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment—the Harlem Hellfighters. Congratulations to Christine Ha, Ethan Carroll, Lisa Miller and Isaiah Sczbecki for winning the Youth Essay Contest! These award winners were able to meet Max Brooks at a VIP party, and also got to take home a MacSuperstore Gift Card. Read the winning essays!

Essay Prompt:

Using examples from Max Brooks' graphic novel "The Harlem Hellfighters," your personal experiences, and United Way's mission, describe what it means to LIVE UNITED. Why is it important? What are the challenges and benefits? How can we LIVE UNITED? How has it changed from the time of the novel to present day?

Sponsored by:

In partnership with: The Foundation for SLO County Libraries