TeenWorksTM Celebrates 20 Years of Making a Difference


United Way and organized labor partner to fund 500 youth community-service projects since 1999 

Allentown, PA, January 2, 2019 — United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) and local Labor Unions will celebrate two decades of young people making a difference in our community at the TeenWorks 20th Anniversary Dinner. Since 1999, this unique collaboration between United Way and organized labor has provided more than $500,000 in funding to support over 500 community-service projects.

“TeenWorks recognizes and supports some of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s most motivated teens, as they engage in impressive community service projects and develop leadership skills,” said UWGLV Director, Labor Relations Daniella De Leon. “As we enter our 20th year, we’ll continue to see the impact that TeenWorks will have across the Lehigh Valley. At United Way, we’re the game changers, and TeenWorks invites young people to become a part of that.”

A collaborative effort between United Way and organized labor, TeenWorks provides grants of up to $1,000 to teens and youth-based organizations to complete community service projects throughout the region.

Organized and led by youth board members with the support of generous partners and sponsors, TeenWorks 20th Anniversary Dinner will take place Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Northampton Memorial Community Center. This special evening of celebration honors exceptional community service projects, recognizes the efforts of the TeenWorks board and showcases results from TeenWorks volunteers and investments.

TeenWorks Project of the Year will be presented to Northampton Area High School Senior Paul Connolly, a Boy Scout who constructed an ADA-compliant ramp with a railing for the front door of the Klecknersville Rangers Volunteer Fire Company. The Fire Company hosts many community events every year, and Paul identified the need to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to get into the fire station. This award was designed to honor a student who made a significant difference and contribution to their community by identifying and leading a project that would create a lasting impact.

The TeenWorks Zach Krauss Spirit of Service Award will be presented to the Center for Vision Loss. The Center for Vision Loss hosts a two-week camp for children who have severely impaired vision. They teach participants life skills, help them complete service projects and acclimate to dealing with different environments. For the past two years, TeenWorks student board members have volunteered to be vision guides for the students. This year, the students who participated in the program collected items for Valley Youth House’s Camp Fowler summer program. The Zach Krauss Spirit of Service Award recognizes a student or group of students who have demonstrated a commitment to making their community a better place to live by completing an outstanding, altruistic project that was innovative, meaningful and impacted people in their community.

The Ellen Weiss Scholarship will be awarded to Parkland High School Senior Samantha Moyer, who currently serves as TeenWorks Teen Chair, and Northampton Area High School Senior Cameron Chuss, previous TeenWorks Teen Chair and current board member. Each student will received a $1,000 scholarship.

“TeenWorks changes lives,” remarked Samantha. “Through this experience, I’ve learned to be more confident and outgoing as well as learned more professional skills.”

Student members will also recognize long-time supporters Chris Hankee and Bill Hankee as TeenWorks Heroes.

“Being on this board really reinforces the faith you have in young people and what they can do,” added Chris Hankee, who represents Pennsylvania State Education Association on the TeenWorks Board.

The event program also includes keynote speakers Northampton County Executive, Lamont McClure, and President of the Bethlehem Education Association, Laura Keding. 

TeenWorks 20th Anniversary Dinner is made possible by our sponsors Capital BlueCross, AFSCME 2592, AFSCME Local 1435, Allentown Education Association, Bethlehem Education Association, IBEW Local 126, IBEW Local 375, Lehigh Valley Labor Council, Local 167 Carpenters Union, Steamfitters Local Union 420, and Teamsters Local 773.


Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community.  We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley. www.UnitedWayGLV.org

About United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley TeenWorks™
Formed in 1999, TeenWorks™ is a collaboration between Lehigh Valley labor unions and local teens. The TeenWorks board is made up of a diverse group of teens and adults who help to encourage and endow young, local applicants who want to better their communities. To date, TeenWorks has funded over 500 projects with dollars exceeding $500,000 through United Way workplace campaign donations. www.unitedwayglv.org/teenworks


Information provided to TVL by:
Zandra Whalen
Director, Marketing and Design
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Celebrating 100 years of service to the Lehigh Valley.
1110 American Parkway NE  Suite F-120  Allentown, PA 18109