The KWCF started the current Engage!KW program in 2010 to build volunteer and philanthropic capacity for the future of our community. The intention was to increase the overall awareness of the social profit sector and of philanthropy, and build future community leadership capacity.

When Amy Tupling first came to Waterloo Region, she had no network, except for her co-workers. Amy works for Carizon Family and Community Services, specifically in the Pathways to Education program. Pathways is a program dedicated to helping youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into postsecondary education. There she met Jason Shim, an Engage!KW graduate who encouraged her to apply to the program.

After taking the time to settle into her new job, and a new home, Amy was excited to explore the community and find ways to give back. She realized the options were endless. After feeling a little overwhelmed, she was reminded about the Engage!KW program, and so she applied and was accepted. Fast forward to a few months later, after attending a few of the monthly sessions, Amy realized that Engage!KW was not quite what she expected, nor was it what she was looking for. Nonetheless, she decided to persevere and see where it would take her.

The result of her journey was a new found network of peers and friends. Her decision to remain in the program resulted in connections that she can now call on for help, guidance and coaching, both personally and professionally.

If you ask Amy, she is glad that the program did not turn out as she first expected, and that she was given the opportunity to participate. She wholeheartedly believes in Engage!KW and what it can do for our community’s emerging leaders, and she has even returned to be a part of the Advisory Group to help frame the program going forward.

 Because of Engage!KW, Amy can now call this Region home, a place where she and her peers can work together on a common goal—to make this community a better place to live, work, play and raise a family.