Be a friend through United Way

This year’s United Way employee giving campaign has provided Assistant Superintendent Usamah Rodgers with a chance to do two things she enjoys: Give back to her community and be competitive.

Growing up in her native Kansas City, Rodgers used to spend her summers at the Boys and Girls Club, an organization that provided a safe place for children and offered a variety of activities.

“I was safe, and I became a really good air hockey player,” Rodgers recalls. “I give because I attended the program, and it made a difference. This is a great opportunity to give back as an adult.”

The campaign also lets Rodgers, who is in charge of Postsecondary Partnerships and Programs, flex her competitive muscles. During the campaign’s leadership breakfast earlier this month, she issued a friendly challenge to the Office of Transformation and Innovation to see who would raise the most money for United Way. So far, her department is winning—as of Nov. 13, OTI was behind by about $200.

“We are at $1,400 and 94 percent participation right now,” Rodgers said proudly.

For Rodgers and many other Dallas ISD employees who have already contributed more than $50,000 toward the district’s $190,000 annual goal, giving back to the community through United Way is important.

“We are blessed to have a way to help invest in the community we serve,” she said. “We can make a difference that will benefit the kids we see every day.”

Employee contributions to United Way benefit Dallas families—students and employees—through a wide variety of community programs and nonprofits. This year’s employee giving campaign runs through Dec. 13.

In addition to investing in the community, staff who donate at least $5 per Friday can wear jeans on Fridays until the end of the campaign; an additional $25 means jeans every day the week of Dec. 9-13 when appropriate for work activities.

There are several ways to contribute to United Way: Oracle, credit card and cash or check. For more information and to see the giving dashboard, visit

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