United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County “Q&A with Cory Nettles”

November 20, 2015

Cory Nettles

Cory Nettles is one of four out- standing co-chairs of the United Way 2015 Community Cam- paign. He gave us his predictions for the campaign and his personal focus on helping kids read at the right grade level.

Q: Why should people choose United Way?

A: United Way is changing and saving lives. People need to understand these save lives – and our commitment is to provide the greatest return on that investment of any organization that does the work we do.

United Way has been celebrated every year by Charity Navigator as being the most effective and efficient at deploying dollars in terms of our overhead costs. The importance to me is the level of impact, the level of scale, the change and the difference we can make and the efficiency by which we do that is unprecedented.

Q: What would you like people to know about United Way?

A: Every day United Way is involved as a convener – bringing together teachers, parents, and community volunteers focused on making sure our children show up at school ready to learn and particularly ready to learn at the 3rd grade level.

One of the things that I’ve been surprised to know is that in spite of the tremendous variety of education options we have for our children – whether its district schools, charter schools, or private schools – in spite of the tremendous variety of options we have literally the worst 3rd grade reading levels for African American children of any community in the country. We are a better community than that. It’s a problem we absolutely have to fix.

United Way is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by making sure our children learn to read so they can read to learn. United Way is leveraging community partners to move the needle to improve our literacy rates. Over the next ten years when you look over our community you will see little boys and girls learning to read proficiently. They will be able to spend the rest of their lives reading to learn. If we can fix this problem we can be assured that together we are changing lives – saving lives – and breaking the cycle of poverty