Welcome to another installment of Familiar Faces Friday! We are excited to introduce Deanna Olmem, our Program Manager for Community Investments and Safe and Stable Families.
When did you start working at United Way of Lake County?
I started working at United Way as a Social Work intern from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009. After my internship I became an AmeriCorps member with our Reading Success Program and eventually came on staff full time in 2011.
What is your title and role?
Manager, Community Investments and Safe and Stable Families. On the community investments side I manage the grant process for local non–profits interested in receiving funding from United Way and work with our volunteers that are interested in helping to determine which of those non-profits receive funding. Our safe and stable families help ensure families are safe and stable. One of the ways we do that is ensuring that families experiencing crisis know where to turn.
What made you want to be a part of this organization?
Growing up my parents always pushed my siblings and I to do well in school and pursue a higher education. I’ve seen what a difference their engagement in my education made for all of us. I want to make sure that all kids are given the opportunities and tools to be successful in their educational goals.
Which of United Way’s programs do you connect to most and why?
Success By 6. Working at United Way I have learned so much about preparing children for that first day of Kindergarten. Those learnings and all the great resources that Success By 6 provides have helped me to be a better first teacher for my daughter!
What has been your favorite part of our job here?
Working with so many staff and community partners that are all focused on helping children in our community really succeed and seeing the results first hand.
When you are not at work what kinds of things do you do with your time?
I love spending time outdoors exploring new places with my husband, our daughter Lucy, and my dog Zai.
Every week we love learning more about our staff and the impact United Way has on their lives. Tune in next week to meet Edna Galvan, Manager for Success By 6. To read the Staff Spotlight from last week, click here.