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HOW WE STARTED

OUR STORY

Youth Charity League (YCL) began in the autumn of 2017 in Portland, Oregon. Three working moms couldn’t find an inclusive place to introduce their children to community service. Sure, there were some options out there, but they just didn’t feel like a good fit. They were too stuffy and old-fashioned, too rule burdened, included too many other distracting requirements, didn’t take children younger than high-school aged, or were exclusive to boys or girls.

What these parents wanted was a place where the spirit of giving grew, not from the size of your wallet, the importance of your title, or the extent of your privilege. They wanted a place where what really mattered most was the size of your heart.

YCL formed around giving families with children a place to begin growing the size of their hearts at a young age. YCL focuses on delivering philanthropic opportunities for caregivers and children in age-appropriate ways. Joining a YCL team provides a place for families to instill a sense of community and giving into a child’s core character through hands-on activities and behavior modeling. YCL’s goal is to create a deep sense of responsibility beyond just filling in the blank on a college application.

Being inclusive means being open to all. YCL accepts any family arrangement of adult/caregiver and child. YCL is simple and straightforward. For an attainable membership fee, families are given access to volunteer opportunities in their community, peer mentorship, recognition, and fellowship with other families ready to raise a generation of socially-conscious changemakers.


 Will your family join us?

 

MEET OUR

founders

KATE BEGONIA

CO-FOUNDER / PRESIDENT

Kate Begonia is the oldest of five children who were raised by their single mom and grandparents in Anchorage, Alaska. The family experienced homelessness and while living out of their car, relied on the kindness and generosity of strangers for food, clothing, and Christmas presents. This forever shaped Kate’s passion for philanthropy, compelling her to help others whenever possible. 

In fact, it led the entire family to give back to the community. Her mother went on to become a Eucharistic minister delivering communion to hospice patients, and the creator of the Irish Alaska Folk Festival. Kate’s younger brother had leukemia as a child and after he recovered, their family volunteered together in children's cancer wards. That brother went on to be a children's ambassador for American Cancer Society of Alaska. Kate herself has been volunteering on her own since she was 18 years old, starting with Habitat for Humanity in Anchorage. Today, one of Kate’s sisters works for Meals on Wheels.

Kate has a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from San Francisco State University. She began her career in Silicon Valley in the early '90s and moved to work in Portland in 2002. Kate is a seasoned marketing professional with extensive experience developing and implementing integrated marketing programs for some of the world’s leading companies such as Oracle Corporation, Sage Software, McCann Worldgroup, Intel, EMC, United Way, and Meals on Wheels People. Kate currently provides marketing expertise to both corporate and non-profit clients through her own consulting business.

Kate has two teenagers in high school, who were her inspiration for bringing YCL to life. Kate, her husband, and kids love exploring and learning about cultures around the world. Their passion for travel has led them to their family motto: eat well, travel often.

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LEADERSHIP

TEAM

 
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Kate Begonia

Claudia Valderrama

Arlene Unverzagt

PORTLAND TEAM

President: 

Treasurer: 

Secretary: 

Membership Director: 

Philanthropy Director:

Head Coach:

Youth Ambassador Director:

Marketing Director:

Kate Begonia

Claudia Valderrama

Andrea Nitta

OPEN

Alecia Pollard

OPEN

Jessi Podd

Arlene Unverzagt

 
 

JOIN OUR

COMMITTEES

 
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MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Recruits new members; manages member onboarding experience.

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PHILANTHROPY COMMITTEE

Monitors and manages YCL nonprofit partner relationships. In partnership with the Board will determine the addition or discontinuation of philanthropy partners. 

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COACHING COMMITTEE

Responsible for member engagement. Duties include: scheduling meetings, managing new member engagement, coordinating all-team service events, and guiding and engaging youth ambassadors. 

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YOUTH AMBASSADoR PROGRAM

Youth Ambassadors represent each interest of YCL Inc., including membership, philanthropy, communications, and coaching. Each interest comes with its own set of tasks as it pertains to the topic.

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MARKETING COMMITTEE

Coordinates with the Director of Marketing to assign and execute communications tactics via YCL’s communications channels. Duties may include coordinating social media; photography; developing and designing print and digital materials for events or membership activities; newsletter development, etc.

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FINANCE COMMITTEE

Works closely with the Board to create a yearly budget and manage YCL finances.