Jenny Jang celebrated the holiday season by volunteering at Marietta Middle School.
Jang attended the school as a kid and this year she returned to her alma matter, decorating cookies and playing games with Hispanic students as their parents learned to speak English in another room.
The rewarding experience was a part of several volunteer opportunities Jang has participated in since joining United Way's LINC (Lead, Network, Impact and Change) in 2015.
She found out about the organization through her job at the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Geared towards millennials, ages 22-30, LINC was created to provide volunteer, professional development, networking and fundraising opportunities to young professionals. The Atlanta chapter was created last year.
According to Stephanie Tate, the organization's director, the purpose of LINC is similar to United Way's YPL (Young Professional Leaders), which is geared to local professionals who are younger than 40. Joining LINC requires a $250 donation every year, while YPL members must donate at least $500 annually.
YPL and LINC join together for several events throughout the year, including HoliDAY of Service. Earlier this month, more than 275 members volunteered at 9 different locations throughout metro Atlanta, including Marietta Middle School.
Jasmyn Howell, a recent Spelman College graduate, found out about LINC while interning at United Way. She'll begin working as a business analyst at Deloitte in 2017.
In addition to starting her career, Howell hopes to get more millennials to join LINC by spreading the word regarding its benefits.
“Not only are you getting involved with the Atlanta community and learning about nonprofits, but you’re also meeting your peers and young professionals in the industry," she said.