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United Way of the Midlands named Melissa Dunn as Director of Education within the organization’s community impact department.

Dunn’s role as Director of Education includes managing the organization’s recently released Youth Plan and focusing on educational programs, research, planning and evaluation, public policy and resource development.

“Melissa has a true passion for ensuring all children receive a quality education from an early start,” said Sara Fawcett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “Her commitment to United Way’s mission and her background in educational programs made her the optimal choice to take the role of Director of Education. I look forward to watching her excel and further our mission to improve the quality of life for every person in the Midlands.”

Prior to this position, Dunn held the role of project manager serving United Way of the Midlands Presidents and CEOs since 2014, acted as the school coordinator for Communities in Schools of the Midlands and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia as well as serving as a Campus Director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands. Dunn is a member of the Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia Class of 2018, and serves on the Board of South Carolina’s Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Central Carolina Chapter. She previously served on the Steering Committee for LeadSC and the planning committee for the Business and Community Fellows Program at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.  

“It has truly been an honor to work as the right hand to both United Way presidents I’ve served, as well as our Board of Directors,” said Dunn. “As I transition into my new role, I do so with gratitude to all the individuals who have encouraged and pushed me forward throughout my career. I’m looking forward to continuing our community’s efforts to improve the quality of education and youth services in the place that I call home.”

After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2007, Dunn joined the United States Peace Corps where she taught English to high school students and assisted in sustainable project development, community development, crisis intervention and youth development in Uganda. There, she was instrumental in research, planning, implementation and evaluation of programs and partnerships to serve students, families and communities both inside and outside of schools.

United Way of the Midlands is the most organized, efficient and accountable system for investing in the community. With more than 70 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations. For more information, please visit www.uway.org.

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