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 UNRESTRICTED donation to join YLS:

  • Ages 21-29: $250 annually | $21 a month
  • Ages 30-40: $500 annually | $42 a month

You can join online or download our membership form.
Submit completed donation forms to:
United Way of the Midlands
Attn: Sheldon Paschal
1818 Blanding Street
Columbia, SC 29201  


Sponsors allow us to hold events without the use of donor dollars. Thank you to our sponsors for enabling us to Plug In and Lead On while maximizing our impact in the community. 

Sponsor a YLS Event today! 


Sheldon Paschal
Philanthropy Officer, Young Leaders Society


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.

Upcoming Events

Mar 26

YLS Early Birds at Piecewise

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 | 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM

Join us on March 19 from 7:45-8:45 AM at Piecewise Coffee Co. for an energizing morning filled with meaningful connections and engaging conversations. YLS Early Birds is a morning meetup designed for young professionals to kickstart their day with a dose of inspiration, networking, and of course...

Mar 27

Cocktails and Conversations


Come out and engage in multi-generational conversations between established and emerging community leaders during this exclusive event curated for donors of United Way of the Midlands Young Leaders Society (YLS) and Tocqueville Society. Cocktails & Conversations is a collaboration bridging community...

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