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Alex Woodhouse and Sam Fontaine are the new Enka Middle Community School staff for the 2014-2015 school. They'll serve as the full-time staff members for one year through the Americorps VISTA program. One of last year's staff members, Anna Gettles, sat down with Alex and Sam to find out a little bit more about them. You can also read about Anna's year at Enka Middle online. Alex Woodhouse is the new Student Success Coordinator, taking the place... Read More
Middle school is a crazy time with major life changes. The social, emotional and physical all converge. United Way's Middle School Success initiative aims to make the transition to middle school and then high school and then graduation more than just about survival. Community support, quality mentors and coaches, involved parents, and early responses to risky behavior strengthen the place we call home for all of us. As summer vacation comes to... Read More
I’m Nikki Mitchell, Events & Promotions Director at Asheville Radio Group, and I am proud to Live United! The Power of One, The Power of Many July marked a BIG anniversary for me. Not with my spouse or my job, but with my Little Sister. I have been part of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of WNC for over a decade and currently with my second “little.” This month we celebrated our ninth anniversary at my house over homemade lasagna, salad, and... Read More
by Ron KatzFocus Area Manager As Independence Day approaches, I started to think about my work at United Way and all of the amazing volunteers I have the pleasure to work alongside. These citizens of our community understand everyone deserves opportunities to have a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health. They take that understanding further by advocating... Read More
In February, I wrote a piece about a school in another state that took lunches away from students who weren’t paid up.  Thankfully, I learned then that Buncombe County Schools has a policy of ensuring each student has a lunch, even if his or her parents haven’t covered the cost for that day. Now, it’s even better news over the summer with the announcement that for the third year in a row, schools are offering free lunches at 16 different sites... Read More
You might have heard something called the Cold Water Challenge is making the rounds in Asheville. People have adapted the classic Polar Plunge to the warm weather. You get challenged by a "friend" to pay $10 to the nonprofit of your choice and get ice cold water dumped on you. We're pretty generous and would normally just donate the $10, but you are required to donate $100 to the charity of the challenger’s choosing if you opt out of the water... Read More
There are studies about the importance of parents' impact on the well-being of their children. Cognitive ability, educational achievement, psychological well-being and social behavior are all affected during kids' formative years. But what impact do children have on their parents? This Father's Day, a few of the fathers at United Way reflected on what they've gotten out of fatherhood. "I’ve earned and received numerous awards in my life. None... Read More
by Julie Smith I have been active with United Way for more than 10 years and truly believe in the mission. It is an organization which reaches near and far and makes an incredible impact on our community. That's why I'm happy to be involved with the annual sports equipment drive. Clutter Got You Down? Get It Out! As a REALTOR with Beverly-Hanks & Associates, I have seen how clearing out the old allows for change and forward movement. Purging... Read More
Middle school youth are my favorite age group to work with because of their desire to learn and play at the same time. In this age group students are undergoing immense physical, emotional, and intellectual changes and it can be a difficult time for everyone including students, parents, families and teachers. As the Community Engagement Coordinator for Enka Community School, I've realized the significance of the middle school years and how... Read More
by Perry HendrixChair, The Peaks Society I remember eagerly awaiting the arrival of summer when I was growing up. It signaled the end of school and weeks of being outside, playing pick-up basketball games and baseball, and days in the pool. We weren’t stuck behind a computer screen, playing video games or on the couch watching TV. Today, distractions are everywhere – from playing Candy Crush on a cell phone or watching The Big Bang Theory on a... Read More

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