millennial challenge Archives | UnidosNow

UnidosNow Continues Celebrating Giving Challenge Successes!


UnidosNow is proud to be one of nine selected winners of the Manatee Millennial Challenge, which was one of the competitions of the 2016 Giving Challenge in September. We are honored and grateful to have been chosen from a pool of 25 great local nonprofits that participated in this new contest. Thanks to the support of the Manatee Community Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and to the dedicated efforts of our Millennial Volunteer Committee – spearheaded by Juan Arcila – UnidosNow will receive a $5,000 grant.

In addition, we’re thrilled and grateful to have been selected – from among hundreds of applications – as the awardee for Best Social Media Campaign in the category for “Medium Sized Organization.”  Thanks to the generous support of the foundations involved in the Giving Challenge, UnidosNow will receive a $1,500 award for this special recognition.


Juan Arcila, Volunteer of the Month

juan_arcilaJuan, originally from Colombia, graduated from East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs and went on to complete his BS in public health from the University of South Florida, where he is now an admissions counselor at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. Fortunately for UnidosNow, he found us on campus this year while we were holding our Future Leaders Academy (FLA), which our partner, USF Sarasota-Manatee, graciously hosts every summer.

After connecting with the FLA scholars, he gave them individual appointments and let them know what USF has to offer them.  He was so impressed with our program, and saw the value of empowering low income, first generation college students, that he signed up as a volunteer to mentor our scholars. This fall, when UnidosNow decided to participate in the Millennial Challenge, as part of the 2016 Giving Challenge, Juan stepped up to spearhead the efforts of our Millennial Volunteer Committee.

Working as an enthusiastic team player, he coordinated strategies with his fellow committee members and Unidos staff, for encouraging young professionals and philanthropists to get involved with UnidosNow through giving, as well as volunteering/mentoring. Juan launched a Facebook campaign featuring and targeting Millennials to promote the Giving Challenge and spread awareness of UnidosNow and its mission. He connected with youth groups and young professional groups and networked with other Millennial leaders to talk about their passions for community service and brainstorm ideas for future collaborations. Through these experiences, Juan also shared success stories from UnidosNow, and how these young community leaders can partner with Unidos to expand our impact.

But Juan, didn’t stop there! He also reached out to Latino professors and student clubs at universities. As a result, the Millennial Volunteer Committee was able to recruit college students as volunteers to help out with programs and build relationships where they can become mentors for our students.

In addition, Juan and the committee were instrumental in garnering Millennial participation in the community event – an Hispanic Heritage Month celebration – we held during the Giving Challenge.

Thanks to Juan’s leadership, and the active role of the committee, in carrying out a hugely successful Millennial Challenge, UnidosNow will receive a $5,000 grant from the Manatee Community Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


UnidosNow is Engaging New Partners for the #GivingChallenge16

We are thrilled to have new partners participating in our Challenge campaign this year! Thanks to our young professional volunteer committee, we are competing in the Millennial Challenge.

Our dynamic Millennial team – Juan Arcila, with USF Sarasota-Manatee, and local attorneys Kelly Rodenas and Carolina Saavedra – are developing creative and techy ways to engage young people and encourage them to be part of this philanthropic opportunity. Here is the video they created to launch UnidosNow’s Millennial Challenge:


Stay tuned for details on the upcoming Millennial Challenge happy hour community event!

UnidosNow is also partnering with The Ringling to compete in the Giving Challenge’s Best Nonprofit Partnership contest. Both institutions value education and prioritize education programming and services as a primary part of their respective missions.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are collaborating to elevate the visibility of the contributions of Latinos and Latino Americans to the arts and culture of the U.S. The Ringling will host two events focused on their exhibit, Collaborating Across Borders, which features Latin American artists, to which UnidosNow will bring our familia – students, parents, mentors and supporters – to celebrate.