Emerging Community Leaders

2022 ECL Cohort's Graduation/ Capstone Celebration at Pour Bros

Emerging Community Leaders (ECL) through United of Way of Champaign County is a FREE personal development program designed for professionals to learn how they can impact our community through nonprofit volunteerism.

In 2020, United Way partnered with the Office of the Chancellor to bring the ECL @ Illinois to University of Illinois employees. Faculty and staff applied to participate in a program that mirrored the community-based ECL and worked with other campus entities through seminars and group projects.

Participants learn how to become stronger community leaders and active volunteers through these key topics:

  • Finding your why
  • Nonprofit Basics
  • How to be an effective Board/Committee member
  • Fundraising for Impact

Additionally, small group projects give participants an opportunity to promote public engagement amongst their colleagues, the broader campus and in the community.

ECL @ Illinois meets about once a month at Beckman Institute and lunch is provided. Meetings begin in April and continue through September.

If you are interested in discovering your “why”, building your network across campus and in the community, and giving back through your talents and gifts, please consider applying for the 2024 cohort. 2024 APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. Thank you for your interest.

Learn more at ECL @ Illinois!


Michelle Gonzales, Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives in Public Engagement