Kenzie%27s-Beautiful-Headshotby MacKenzie Knight
Community Investment Advisor

It’s been a short 5 weeks since I joined United Way of Salt Lake as a Community Investment Advisor. And, while it has been a wild ride getting to know the ropes, it has been incredibly rewarding. This is my first job out of college, and let’s just say that it has definitely exceeded my expectations, even though I must admit that I was a bit nervous. United Way is a well-established and reputable organization, and the high expectations felt a bit daunting. But after just a few weeks, with the support of very kind and helpful coworkers, I am beginning to feel ready to take on the world of nonprofit fundraising in our community.

I grew up in Utah, both Salt Lake and Park City, and I graduated from the University of Utah with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Psychology. I’ve always felt passionate about making a difference in my community and making the world a better place for everyone to live; I just wasn’t sure how to achieve that goal. There are so many ways to go about philanthropic work that I was overwhelmed. My focus on Political Science in school is what truly got me interested in the challenges that kids, families, and individuals in our community are facing. The cycle of poverty and the odds that are stacked up against kids and families can be extremely difficult for people to overcome- this is what motivated me to enter the nonprofit world. I knew that I can help change the oddsGrowing up, I was lucky enough to have a roof over my head and the security of knowing where my next meal was coming from. So many kids don’t share those same comforts. Because I had these opportunities, I want to do my part to support long-term positive change and contribute to the amazing work that United Way of Salt Lake and partners are doing.

One experience that really impressed me during my first couple of weeks at UWSL was volunteering at the Guadalupe School for Young Leaders Science Wednesday. Science Wednesday is an afterschool program where kids learn about different scientific topics. Along with other Young Leaders, I got to teach some adorable kindergarten kids about insects; it was such an incredibly gratifying experience! These kids were so engaged and having so much fun, and knowing that the organization that I work for was working with partners to provide this kind of amazing opportunity for kids was truly awe-inspiring.

MckenzieThis past month has certainly been fast and furious in the best of ways. I’ve already had so many incredible and unforgettable experiences and I’m very excited to see what new adventures will come next. I am no longer overwhelmed by all of the ways I can make a difference in my community, because United Way of Salt Lake has provided me with all of the tools I need to reach this goal.
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