From the Leadership | WTS Foundation's High Impact
Although it seems summer has just begun, fall approaches quickly. It’s back to school time, and the WTS Foundation continues our year-round support of students in their educational growth and career aspirations. Our Annual Giving campaign strives for a year-end fundraising goal of $85,000.
We’re on our way.
The WTS Foundation is a “high impact” nonprofit. Almost the entirety of donations goes directly back into recipients of our work: opportunities like our Capital Summit for high schoolers, subsidizing and supporting other in-person and virtual learning opportunities, and, of course, our scholarships.
Many of the students who benefit from the Foundation already have their sights set on jobs in transportation, but many students are also unaware of the many career prospects in the transportation industry. The WTS Foundation exists to encourage and support these students involved at WTS Chapter levels across the country and introduce students to WTS…. building not only a next generation of membership, but also a formidable pipeline of future sector professionals.
Without a diversity of thought in the next generation of engineers, planners, and others — like our 2023 Summit student attendees — we run the risk of stalling, or even moving backwards, in our goal for equitable, multi-modal, and robust transportation systems. WTS Foundation supports our organization-wide statement in conjunction with WTS International regarding recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, ending Affirmative Action, student debt relief, and more. Our Foundation strives to offer financial support in the way of scholarship money to a growing and diverse group of applicants, but we cannot be impactful if students cannot get into universities in the first place. The implications of court decisions jeopardize the future of our transportation workforce.
Giving now is more important than ever. Our 69 WTS Chapters make phenomenal advancements in local fundraising and scholarship opportunities and prove time and time again that WTS is a membership of benevolent and forward-thinking people – we give to others not only through the decisions we make during our day-to-day professional careers, but also through grassroots volunteerism, mentoring and sponsoring, event planning, educational programming, and so much more. We can still build upon the momentum from May’s WTS International Annual Conference in Atlanta, where members, corporate partners, chapters, conference attendees, and other supporters pledged $36,000 during our Annual Awards Gala at the Georgia Aquarium.
I am so proud and honored to lead the WTS Foundation during this time of growth, empowerment, and invigoration. It was a thrill to join our 27 mentees earlier this summer at the University of Maryland, and witness not only the learning opportunities afforded them as we shepherded them into our industry, but also the valuable relationships built with their peers and professionals around the country. Xochilt, Evelyn, Zahra, Mia K., Brooklynne, Kayla, Jaelynn, Zainub, Aria, Trinity, Megan, Mia S., Lizzie, Seno, Rehema, Shaniece, Arianna, Linda, Sophia, Aniyah, Syra, Keren, Maddy, Yatziri, Leah, Dayanara, and Lily: these are the names relying on donors like you. These are the future leaders of our industry.
As you enjoy the remainder of summer – warm weather, out-of-office re-energizing, time spent with loved ones – consider a donation that will make a student’s learning experience come fall much brighter. Together we can make positive change by building equity and inclusivity into the transportation field.
An additional $49,000 is no small feat, but it is an attainable goal. Please help reshare our message on social media, like our #FoundationFridays posts, and on behalf of our Board and members, thank you. We appreciate your continued membership with WTS, dedication to a better future, valuable insights, and financial commitments.
2022–24 Chair, WTS Foundation