United Way of Greater St. Louis was selected as one of 13 cities to participate in the Starbucks Service Fellows Program. Starbucks, in partnership with Points of Light, launched this innovative, employer-led service program to catalyze its employees’ passion for service to create enduring change in their communities.

 

United Way was pleased to host two Starbucks Service Fellows for 20 hours a week from August 2018 to February 2019. Both Fellows provided capacity building support to East Side Aligned, a collective impact movement working to build a stronger community for children and youth within Greater East St. Louis. 

 

The Starbucks Service Fellows took on a variety of projects during their placement. They were first deployed to the City of East St. Louis Mayor’s Office with the task of positioning the City to become part of Cities of Service global coalition. The Fellows advised the Mayor and her staff on how to tap into the knowledge, creativity, and service of their citizens to help identify and solve critical public problems. The Mayor’s Office is now better equipped to engage residents in neighborhood beautification and other volunteer-led projects.

 

The Fellows also conducted research, engaged diverse stakeholders and developed recommendations for how to establish a local coalition focused on Opportunity Youth with a specific emphasis on improving supports and services for youth re-entering society after detention or incarceration. Their contributions built our community’s muscle to better work across organizations and sectors to support older youth.   

 

Through the Starbucks Service Fellows, the Fellows gained knowledge, skills and experience and our community benefited from their talents and impact. It has been a pleasure to host Melissa (Mel) Confer and Cassidy Clark. Their passion was contagious. We wish them well in their future coffee-making and change-making endeavors.