Tonya Nichol Dickerson is a Recruiter for the Rochester City School District, a graduate of the African American Leadership Development Program (AALDP), a supporter of United Way, and an active member of the community. Learn more about Tonya's involvement with United Way:
What inspired you to become involved with United Way?
My first connection with United Way was monthly giving at my first professional job. One day, I told my mother about how they passed donation forms out at work. She "informed" me that I needed to give because when we moved to Rochester, the United Way helped to pay for my daycare. Knowing that United Way directly impacted my family inspires my continued involvement.
What have you learned from your involvement with United Way?
I've learned about the various needs of the community and the many organizations trying to meet those needs. As an AALDP participant, I learned how these and other (systemic) issues profoundly impact the Black community in Rochester. I was provided with the knowledge and tools to become a servant leader in my community to help address these challenges and inspire others to do the same. My participation has also enabled me to learn how nonprofits work, how funds are allocated, why philanthropy is important, and how to become an effective member of the board or committee.
What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?
I'm most passionate about developing future leaders in the community. It's important that we continue to cultivate and nurture individuals willing to do the work to create positive change, whether in the workplace or, most importantly, the community. To ensure that we are always storytelling to know where we've been and where we plan to go. To break down silos and provide diverse perspectives from those in our community. United Way does this through its various Leadership Development Programs.