Freedom to Rise
From school superintendents to elected officials and business leaders, learn more about the people making a difference in the community with this informative and engaging podcast that highlights United Way Suncoast’s lasting impact.
We chat with Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego discussing what keeps him going after 40 years in education, the biggest challenges presented by the pandemic, the importance of community partnerships, and the focus on early learning.
United Way Suncoast focuses on four impact areas: early learning, youth success, financial stability, and asset development. With this podcast, we’ll aim to delve deeper into the importance of our work and the impact stories arising from our success. In Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto Counties, we have a concentrated focus on bringing partners together to focus on our regional Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Movement. This includes The Big Plan: a decided collaborative emphasis on raising grade-level reading in 10 Manatee County schools. The first series of episodes in the podcast will explore the various aspects of our early learning and youth success efforts.
I’ve spent 32 years working in the United Way organization, including 15 here with United Way Suncoast. I believe in the work we do here at the United Way, and I’m driven each and every day to serve our community and families that need our help. Growing up on the east side of Cleveland, I understand what hard-working families experience trying to make ends meet. Through my own experience and through my many years of service to this community, I’ve witnessed and felt struggle. But I’ve also witnessed how the love of family and friends lifts people up, how faith and resiliency keeps families going, and how the support through organizations like United Way Suncoast really helps families overcome barriers. While you might hear about the challenges facing our ALICE families, those hard-working parents and children who stand just one unexpected expense away from dire struggles, you often don’t hear about the love that still flourishes in these homes, the care that courses through our underserved neighborhoods and the strength of the bonds that unite these families. I’m inspired by these scenes and determined to create even more opportunities in my role with United Way Suncoast.
As Chief Impact Officer for United Way Suncoast’s efforts in DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, Bronwyn Beightol provides direction and oversight for United Way Suncoast initiatives and informs regional efforts. Bronwyn, a mother of two favorites and relatively new grandmother, has spent more than two decades in the social impact sector supporting innovative, community-level change initiatives to advance the common good. She ends each podcast with “Bronwyn’s Big Takeaway,” a closing commentary.