Young Leaders Society

We are young professionals passionate about improving our community as we build our careers.

Why join YLS?

There are many worthwhile groups for young professionals in Columbia…so what makes YLS different? For one thing, we’re affiliated with the United Way, a four-star charity that addresses local needs right here in the Midlands. Through our work, you can be sure that you’re making the biggest impact with your limited time and making connections with your peers that will last a lifetime.

How to Join

Join YLS and enjoy networking and volunteer opportunities that will help you give back and feel good. Ages 21-40 welcome! 

Required donation to join YLS:

  • Ages 21-29: $500 annually | $42 a month
  • Ages 30-40: $1,000 annually | $83 a month

If you pay the annual requirement in a lump sum, you can join online

To pay incrementally with yearly, quarterly, or monthly donations, download our membership form.
Submit completed donation forms to:
United Way of the Midlands
Attn: Kalyn Duguay
1818 Blanding Street
Columbia, SC 29201  


Kalyn Duguay
United Way Leadership Program Director

Reading really is fundamental.

Research shows that raising a child in a home filled with books creates better academic outcomes later in life. Our “Be a Book Bunny” program distributes literacy bags to over 500 students served by the Midlands Reading Consortium to help children build personal libraries at home. With your help, we can encourage reading both in and out of the classroom to help kids develop healthy reading habits that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

Give Back, Have Fun

YLS donors enjoy many exclusive opportunities throughout the year, including volunteer projects, professional development and networking opportunities, and invitations to signature events like the YLS Oyster Roast and Cocktails & Conversations.

Learning with Leaders

Join United Way's Young Leaders Society at 1626 on Main, for a professional development event with a guest panel and group discussion on the revitalization of Columbia's Main Street district and it's ability to attract and retain young professionals.

Panelists: Matt Kennel (City Center Partnership), Mayor Steven Benjamin (City of Columbia Mayor) and Robin Waites (Historic Columbia)

Ticket prices: $5 for donors and $15 for non-donors

Upcoming Events

Oct 08

Blueprint for Leadership Series

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Blueprint for Leadership, a professional development course targeting future community leaders. The program prepares diverse groups of individuals for volunteer service in the nonprofit sector. United Way of the Midlands is accepting applications for Blueprint for Leadership, a comprehensive...

Nov 19

YLS + U of SC Happy Hour at Craft & Draft

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Join Young Leaders Society and our U of SC friends for Happy Hour at Craft & Draft! Craft & Draft has agreed to donate a percentage of happy hour sales to support our Be a Book Bunny program in partnership with United Way's Midlands Reading Consortium. This month, we ask that you please bring canned...

Dec 09

Learning with Leaders

Monday, December 9, 2019 | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

Join United Way's Young Leaders Society and the Young Lawyers Division for a panel discussion focused on how to get involved in nonprofit board service, what to expect once you get there, how to be a good steward and more. Guest Panelists: Ashleigh Wilson, Bowman and Brooke Karen Oliver, United Way...

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YLS Signature Sponsor