Photo of a white appearing woman in a black blazer smiling.

YLS Welcomes a New Chair Alison Leary



Hello YLS, and welcome to a new year of philanthropy and fun. I am honored to serve as your chair for the upcoming year and wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself.

I was born in Sacramento and grew up in Folsom. I was raised by a single mother who was passionate about city politics. As such, I spent hours during elementary school doing homework on the floor of City Hall, listening to the cares and concerns of the citizens of Folsom. The experience instilled in me a passion for local government and a resolve to serve my community.

After earning my undergraduate degree from UC Davis, where I studied communications and political science, I moved to Virginia to attend law school. Although I moved with the intention of staying on the east coast, I soon began to miss Sacramento more than I could have ever anticipated. I suppose it was a classic case of “you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.” Sacramento’s accessibility, diversity, and compassion make for a truly remarkable community.

I moved back to Sacramento in 2015 and started seeking opportunities to meet like-minded, service-oriented people. I began volunteering for different organizations, but never quite found the community of peers that I was looking for until I discovered United Way. In YLS, I found an incredible group of young professionals excited about making an impact on the community they love.

During the past year, we built houses, spruced up the local YMCA, raised money to support the Square One Project, and had fun while doing it. This year, I hope to build on that momentum by creating monthly volunteer opportunities for YLS members, as well as social events for us to learn more about one another and our community.  Although we may have to physically distance during these activities, I am hopeful we will be able to create strong social bonds.

Robert Kennedy once said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

I look forward to working with you to change a small portion of events here in Sacramento. I am confident that, by working together, we can write a hopeful, inclusive, and prosperous history for our community.