CEL Board Fellows: Building a lifelong passion for community engagement

The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program provides impact to the St. Louis community by placing students as voting members on a nonprofit board for an academic year—and requiring them to consult on an important project for the agency.

“Olin/United Way Board fellows’ hard work and innovative thinking is an asset to the nonprofit community and the many people across our region,” said Orvin Kimbrough, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis.

Orvin Kimbrough speaks with Olin/United Way Board Fellows students.

Since its start with nine United Way agencies in 2010, the program has engaged with 82 unique agencies and immersed 266 graduate students on a board for the 12-month experience.

“The board fellows program allows our students to build a professional network, learn best practices in governance, and begin building their lifelong passion for community service,” said Al Kent, program director.

Al Kent, Program Director for Olin/United Way Board Fellows presenting to nonprofit partners.

With more than 42,500 hours of impact to the St. Louis area, the program’s graduate students not only have engaged with the board on making pivotal decisions for our community, but also have engaged with consulting project for the nonprofit.

“My board fellow’s dedication and persistence is helping us improve our board recruitment, orientation, engagement, and continuing education practices,” said Mary Rogers, executive director for Sherwood Forest, which connect with, educates, and inspires low-income and underserved youth in the St. Louis area.

Learn more about Scott Diamond’s, MBA ’17, and Paul Kirbach’s, PMBA 38, journey as a board member of their nonprofit board experience through our video (above).

Olin/United Way Board Fellows serve boards as a voting member and are responsible for executing a project designed to provide lasting social impact. Interested? Learn more on the CEL’s website.

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