At a recent Women United luncheon, Carolyn Mullins was approached by one of the young men participating in the event. The annual luncheon is a celebration of the United Way women’s group that supports local foster youth.
The young man asked Mullins if she would attend his high school graduation—excited to share this momentous occasion with someone who had helped him get there. Mullins enthusiastically agreed and attended the graduation later that spring.
That should tell you pretty much all you need to know about Mullins and her commitment to United Way.
She has been an active member of Women United since 2010; has served as a board member for 12 years—including three years as chair; and currently serves as chair of the Board Development Committee. But her involvement with the nonprofit that focuses on improving health, education and financial stability in communities started long ago.
“I first got involved with United Way in the late 1970s,” Mullins says. “As a manager at AT&T, I was responsible for coordinating employee-giving campaigns and United Way was always at the forefront for me. I eventually started coordinating the United Way campaigns within AT&T across California and Nevada, so I got to work even more closely with them.
“When I got involved with Women United, I got the chance to bring a mentoring group called Women of AT&T to a local foster home to conduct life-skills workshops for the kids. I love connecting people.”
Mullins has made an impressive career of doing just that. The Pocket resident retired in 2013 as AT&T’s executive director of human resources of National U-verse Field Operations after a 41-year career, during which she supported 23,000 employees across 22 states.
Through it all, she’s maintained a busy schedule of volunteerism for United Way—through Women United, as well as the organization’s Square One Project—that earned her the United Way California Capital Region’s Boje and Price Award for Outstanding Volunteerism last December.
“I’m delighted and humbled,” says Mullins, who also serves as chair of the Public Policy, Advocacy and Community Involvement Committee for the Sacramento chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
“Volunteering is in my DNA. I love being part of an organization that has such an impact on children in our community. The Square One Project seeks to eliminate poverty through education—that’s very near to my heart.
“My mother was an educator and my parents always said to focus on getting an education because no one can take that away from you. You don’t see children today getting that kind of help and support, so United Way is there to be a champion for the children.”
For more information, visit yourlocalunitedway.org.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.