Volunteer Spotlight: Life 2019 Conference

July 25, 2019

This year, thousands of high school students poured in from all over the country to attend the week-long LIFE 2019 Conference, held by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Included in the experience is the opportunity for large groups to volunteer at various nonprofit organizations throughout Central Florida. UP Orlando was lucky enough to be one of those service project sites! From July 10-July 13, a different team of 75 amazing high school students showed up everyday ready to work. That means a total of 300 volunteers served at our campus! Volunteers worked hard in our Member Share Grocery Program and...

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Meet Brenda!

July 25, 2019

Brenda, STEP Class 12 graduate, has been living in Orlando most of her life. Her passions include writing and psychology. She is very intrigued by psychology, because she loves to study people and rationalize why people are the way they are. STEP has taught her interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, and she feels more confident than ever! After STEP, Brenda wishes to find a permanent job where she will be happy.

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Highlighted Partner: Stanley Steemer

July 25, 2019

With STEP students, volunteers, donors, partners members, and staff walking through our building everyday, our carpets take a lot of abuse. This is why we’re so grateful for our newest corporate partner Stanley Steemer! Last week, Stanley Steemer, owned and operated by Mark and Connie Gellner in Apopka, cleaned the carpet in our 2,0000 sq. ft. STEP Classroom free of charge. The carpet looks brand new just in time for STEP graduation on August 1 and a new STEP class starting later in the month. Thank you, Stanley Steemer!

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Meet Our New Board Chairman

July 24, 2019

by Kyanna Johnson, Executive Intern, UCF College of Undergraduate Studies As the CEO of Adept Leadership, Paul DePalma continues to show his impressive leadership skills as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at UP Orlando. Previously serving as the Chairman of the Organizational Leadership Committee, DePalma has remained committed to our cause since 2015. Having trained numerous companies and organizations about restructuring and re-developing leadership skills, DePalma has made his mark in the Orlando community. Wanting to get involved in his community, DePalma began volunteering with UP after visiting the campus with Eric Gray, Executive Director who describes DePalma...

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Eviction and Poverty

July 23, 2019

by Carla Cox, M.S., Programs Director, United Against Poverty Orlando “Prioritize the things you always need accessible, like medications and identification documents,” I say over the phone in the most comforting way possible, “then get a suitcase or duffel bag and put the clothes that you wear most often. Don’t pack more than one bag because shelters usually won’t allow more.” Speaking with Tracy over the phone was difficult. She was involved in our Success Training Employment Program (STEP) and even had a part-time job offer when she received her 24-hour eviction notice. She had come so far in a...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Deloitte

June 12, 2019

We’d like to give a HUGE thanks to the awesome friends over at Deloitte! Every year, they bring a group of volunteers to serve in our Member Share Grocery Program, Member Marketplace, and everywhere else! From painting to stocking shelves, these volunteers do it all, completing more than 400 combined hours of community service with UP Orlando! Thank you Deloitte; we appreciate your dedication to the Central Florida community! If you are interested in bringing a group out to volunteer, please email our Volunteer and Facilities Manager, Monique Stewart, at monique@unitedagainstpoverty.org.

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Partner Highlight: WellCare

June 12, 2019

WellCare is a Medicare Advantage Plan, providing health insurance to individuals with Medicare, and they have been a loyal sponsor of UP Orlando for many years. For the last five years, Mario Martinez has been representing WellCare on the UP Orlando campus. Mario is originally from El Salvador. He moved to the US in 1990, and has lived in Florida with his wife and six children since 2004. Mario has more than 10 years of experience working with Medicare. He took a job with WellCare in 2014 and was assigned to the UP Orlando campus. Since taking over the WellCare...

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$2-a-Day Poverty

June 12, 2019

by Carla Cox, Programs Director at United Against Poverty Defining what poverty means can be a challenge. Some base their definition on a stage in life, such as lack of housing; others base it on household income. But what most can agree on is that the definition is complicated. At United Against Poverty, we follow the Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG) which is an algorithm stating that your household income should be enough to afford housing, food and clothing, healthcare, transportation, and childcare at a figure of 100%. Currently, 15% of Orange County residents are falling below 100% FPG. An additional...

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Helping Others Help Themselves

April 15, 2019

We have all experienced difficult seasons in our lives—times where we felt hopeless or discouraged. It is in those moments that many of us turn to our close friends and family for guidance. Unfortunately, what we have seen time and time again is that the individuals who come to us in crisis situations are not fortunate enough to have those support systems. Without that first layer of a safety net, they fall further and further. Ultimately, individuals struggling with poverty end up operating in survival mode—focusing solely on how to get through the day rather than finding a way to...

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Featured Partner: Lucky’s Market

March 20, 2019

Lucky’s Market has been expanding all over Central Florida from their corporate headquarters in Wicot, CO and UP Orlando is fortunate to have a location open up across the street from our Michigan Street campus in the newly built Lucky’s Corner Shopping Center. Lucky’s has been one of our most involved Employer Partners, hiring eight of our Success Training Employment Program students for their new SoDo store. Our students are employed in the bakery (like Lee, right), in the produce department, and as cashiers among other positions in the store. We’re also excited to announce that Lucky’s SoDo has chosen...

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