United Way Youth Venture Community Expo to Showcase Projects of Social Entrepreneurs


Curious about what millennials are doing to resolve some of society’s toughest issues? Then don’t miss the United Way Youth Venture Community Expo, taking place Wednesday, March 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Great Wolf Lodge, 50 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg.

Teams of young social entrepreneurs will be on hand to showcase how they are leveraging their passion and skills to generate unique solutions to school and community challenges, including homelessness, autism awareness, support for foster children, environmental conservation, animal welfare and many others.

In addition to networking and enjoying one-on-one presentations from the youth Venture teams, the drop-in expo will also feature live and silent auctions, appetizers and cocktails.

United Way Youth Venture of North Central Massachusetts, the largest program of its type in the country, was established in 2002 when the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, Mount Wachusett Community College and Ashoka’s Youth Venture partnered to help schools integrate youth-based social ventures into their curriculum, afterschool activities and special events. UWYV is independently funded and relies on community support to continue.

The program is currently available to students in the following partner schools: Applewild School, Ayer Shirley Middle and High School, Murdock Middle/High School, Frances Drake Elementary School, Leominster High School & CTEi, Sky View Middle School, Samoset Middle School, Fitchburg High School, North Middlesex Regional High School, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, Sizer School, Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School and MWCC.

“The UWYV Community Expo promises to be an inspirational evening that allows business and community leaders to learn directly from engaged youth how they are making an impact in the region,” said Lauren Mountain, associate director of UWYV program at Mount Wachusett Community College.

“It is inspiring to see young people identify solutions to challenges they see in our region, then build a plan to address these challenges in innovative and creative ways,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “The UWYV program has grown exponentially over the years and serves as a model that demonstrates the power of today’s youth to initiate change that benefits citizens now and in the future.”

“United Way Youth Venture is very much on the cutting edge because it is tapping into the entrepreneurial power of young people who want to address important community issues,” said Phil Grzewinski, President of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. “We are looking forward to an inspiring evening.”

UWYV Cpmmunity Expo sponsors to date include Pirro Auction Services, Inc., the Greater Gardner, Nashoba Valley and North Central Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce, the Catalano Companies, IC Federal Credit Union, Workers’ Credit Union, HealthAlliance Hospital and Kevin Bliss Self Defense Center.

General admission tickets are $35 and youth supporter tickets, which includes a donation to UWYV, are $75. Tickets may be purchased online at mwcc.edu/uwyv or by calling 978-630-9201. The Greater Gardner Chamber, Nashoba Valley Chamber, and North Central MA Chamber of Commerce are offering discounted tickets to chamber members for $25.