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Numerous individuals from all walks of life dressed their best smiling and posing for the camera in front of a United Way Bay Area background. Numerous individuals from all walks of life dressed their best smiling and posing for the camera in front of a United Way Bay Area background.

UWBA Ambassadors

Advocating for Others – Juan


Once incarcerated and faced with becoming homeless, Juan knew he wanted something better for his life. With the help of SparkPoint coaches, he turned things around and chased his passions. Now he is a UWBA Ambassador, using his lived experience to support and give back to the community – and YOU can too. Watch to find out how.

Centering Lived Experiences to Fight Poverty


At United Way Bay Area, there is no greater reward for our efforts to fight poverty than to see programs at work in the lives of others. When lives are changing for the better, UWBA’s work and the support of the community are validated. In some cases, community members with lived experiences in our program areas have decided to take leadership roles as UWBA Ambassadors to help those who share their experiences.


UWBA Ambassadors Council is an advisory body that centers community and client voices into programmatic, grantmaking, advocacy, marketing, and fundraising efforts. Ambassadors decide which organizations receive funding, provide input on program design, and share their stories with media or at fundraising events. Ambassadors have participated in one or more of UWBA’s programs as clients, staff, or volunteers and have valuable lived experiences and deep expertise in the Bay Area’s most pressing challenges.

“Centering equity in our actions and decision-making requires us to seek and invite the voices and experiences of young people, families, and communities that have been situated farthest from the opportunities and desired outcomes we espouse for everyone. Leading for equity requires us to redesign structures and processes to consciously redistribute power across role groups and institutions. Co-creation acknowledges that we build with and not for others- we invite, engage and design solutions and co-produce knowledge in partnership.”

– National Equity Project

Ambassadors are:


  • Passionate about solving the Bay Area’s most pressing challenges
  • Ensuring valuable voices in the community are heard
  • Leaders in the social justice movement
  • Interested in speaking to elected officials
  • Deciding funding allocations to community organizations
  • Lending their voice to improve nonprofit programs
  • Giving back to the community


Benefits to being an Ambassador:


Not only do Ambassadors get the opportunity to create change and make an impact in their communities, they also have the opportunity to:

  • Build leadership and public speaking skills
  • Participate in focus groups that inform UWBA programming or community solutions
  • Serve on panels or speak at events
  • Speak to media about your experience and UWBA
  • Get paid for participating in opportunities

“As an Ambassador I am able to explore new gifts and hidden talents and at the same time open a door for various members within my community to receive assistance through the programs that United Way Bay Area offers. The epitome of leading by example!”
-Apollonia (Apple) Williams



Rachel discusses the impact SparkPoint services have had on her journey to financial stability.


Read more about Rachel and her role as a UWBA Ambassador

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about the UWBA Ambassador program, booking an Ambassador for a speaking engagement, or becoming an Ambassador?

Rachel Reese
UWBA Ambassador & Ambassador Coordinator


Our Ambassadors in Action