by Tim Harrison

Database Administrator

I spend most of my work day at a computer. While I love my job and recognize its importance to United Way of Salt Lake, it’s still easy to get jealous of the employees spending more time out in the community.  Last week, however, the organization provided me with the opportunity to tour our Community Learning Center at Oquirrh Hills Elementary.  The busy afternoon was so much more than an explanation of the facility and services they provide.  We got to meet Principal Marberger and even a passionate volunteer from Latinos in Action.  The recent high school graduate passionately relayed his story and what the group and the center mean to him.

On our tour, my colleagues and I were lucky enough to peek at the dress rehearsal for the Oquirrh Hills talent show, where I was interested to learn that performers were not allowed to lip sync. As someone who took the easy way out in his 6th grade talent show by beautifully lip-syncing N’SYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye,” I felt ashamed and humbled watching these gifted rugrats belt out Adele, leap like Martha Graham, and shuffle to LMFAO.  It was the perfect way to top off a fascinating tour of one of our newest Community Learning Centers.

It is truly inspiring to witness firsthand the Collective Impact approach through the strategies our coordinators and partners are implementing.  While any social change of this scale presents its fair share of challenges, the impressive individuals at Oquirrh Hills Elementary and beyond are ensuring that every child has the chance to succeed every step of the way.

A special thanks to Stephanie Linton of The Boys & Girls Club of South Valley for taking the time to show us around.