Empowering Communities: A Q&A with Katie Jones

Tuesday Mar 12th, 2024

United Way believes that a high-quality and supportive educational experience is key to a child’s long-term success. When you were in school, did you have any women teachers or mentors who inspired you? 

Katie: My high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Alward, is one to note. She was an outstanding educator, but also took a personal interest in her students. She truly cared about our well-being and would go out of her way to make sure her students were okay inside and outside of school. She always encouraged responsibility, independence and courage and was a great role model. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my mom, a long-time public-school teacher, who has been an inspiration to me for my whole life. She lovingly balanced her family and career with a vested interest in being the best she could be for her family and students. She and my dad (also a long-time public-school teacher) raised me to be who I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful for the example they set and the lessons they have taught me.  

Why do you choose to invest in United Way’s community schools? 

Katie: I believe in the transformative power of education. With a strong educational background, kids have more opportunities available to them to help them achieve their goals. Taking tours of the community schools and hearing firsthand about some of the challenges faced and what the Community School Model does to help made this investment a very easy choice for me. It’s an incredible undertaking that takes a lot of people to keep it moving in the right direction, so I wanted to be able to help in some small way. 

 You are involved with United Way in several ways, including as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and as a Women United member. What inspired you to keep taking these steps to become more deeply involved with our work to crush poverty through education? 

Katie: Seeing the effect that United Way has on our community keeps me inspired. We have the power to create change in our community and we are doing that as demonstrated through the data collected from our community schools. I gain inspiration from other members of the Board and Women United as well. There are a lot of people out there that want to help others, and the impact that we each can have is multiplied when we work together. 

What do you want to be remembered for? 

Katie: I just want to know that I did my part to try to make things better for someone else.