Helping Youth Reach Their Full Potential

November 25, 2019 | By: United Way Waterloo Region Communities

The generosity of United Way donors helped inspire Asare to become a role model for other vulnerable youth.

Asare is a youth mentor in a United Way-funded program. But not too long ago, the tables were turned and he was the one in need of support.

“As a youth with no male role model in my life, I struggled with authority and conflict resolution,” Asare says. “Mentors from a program in my community opened my eyes to a whole different world in terms of my capabilities and what I could do with my life.” It is because of the support of United Way donors that programs like these continue to be available in our community.

“It’s scary to think about where I would be without those experiences. I definitely wouldn’t be working in public service and giving back to my community every day.” – Asare

These experiences inspired Asare to join a United Way-funded program where he has the opportunity to mentor other young people. “We meet with diverse and talented youth who are interested in different career paths,” he explains. “We talk to them about their interests and how they can get involved in the community. Whether I’m having a meaningful conversation with them and bringing up something that they never thought about, or continuously keeping them accountable for how they choose to live their lives, it’s important to continue to be involved in their lives.”

For Asare, the connection he strives to build with youth is deeply personal.

“I see many young people who have similar upbringings and circumstances to mine. And it’s heartbreaking, but it’s also motivating. I see myself in these kids and I hope that they see themselves in me.”


For more information about United Way Waterloo Region Communities and how you can support our community, please visit, call us at 519-888-6100, or email


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