Amanda Drew


Amanda Drew


United Way of Southwest Michigan

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What Does Your Company/Organization Do?

United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the education, health and financial stability of every person in every community.




I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Grand Valley State University in 2003.

I began working at Berrien RESA as an Administrative Assistant in 2006 and began my career at United Way of Southwest Michigan in 2010.

As the Director of the Berrien County Great Start Collaborative, my greatest accomplishment was the development and implementation of the “Get Ready” school readiness campaign.

As the Senior Director of Impact Strategies, my greatest accomplishment has been establishing and growing the Southwest Michigan Emergency Response Consortium. In 2019, I completed my Masters in Administration from Central Michigan University.

This year, I was chosen to participate in the 2020 United Way Worldwide Fellowship Program, a year-long leadership opportunity.

However, by far, my greatest accomplishment has been being a mom.

What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?

In the next year and a half, I plan to complete the United Way Worldwide Fellowship program. I also hope to learn more about emergency relief and further expand the Emergency Response Consortium.  And, I also hope to survive the middle school/high school years with my children.


  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Grand Valley State University, 2003
  • Masters in Administration, Central Michigan University, 2019


Bridgman, MI

Where were you born?

Joliet, IL

What was your first job?

Library Page at the age of 13

Best advice you ever got?

To the world you may only be one person. But to one person, you may be the world. Be the world for that one person. Make a difference.

Who inspires you most?

My parents. They are the most hard-working people I know. They have supported me through everything and have taken care of so many others. They both deservingly retired this year and I hope they enjoy it to the fullest.

That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.

I have taught ballroom and Latin dancing.

What do you love to do in your downtime?

Spending time near the water, whether that be the pool or beach. Spending time with family and friends.

What book are you reading now?

Moment Maker by Carlos Whittaker

Volunteer activity you love the most.

I love volunteering with my children’s local sports and activity programs. It makes me feel like I’m giving back to the coaches and other volunteers who help make the programs successful. I also love volunteering for United Way’s School Supply Spectacular and seeing the kid’s faces when they receive a backpack full of supplies.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

Making a difference. Even if it is only one person, I love knowing that I am making a difference in that person’s life.

What Superpower would you most love to have?

The ability to slow down time.

What has been the most eye-opening thing about the coronavirus pandemic for you, personally?

The way our community comes together when people are in need. Between raising funds, collecting donations, or utilizing volunteers, our community members stepped up and showed up.

What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?

I am incredibly honored to be recognized as a young professional in such a wonderful community. I am always in awe of the talent, dedication and passion from the leaders that I have the privilege to know and work with and I am thankful and humbled to be selected as one of them.