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Rodney A. Young retires from United Way of Rochester

Rodney Allen Young

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Rodney Allen Young. It was his first official day of retirement from a 23-year career at the United Way of Greater Rochester and The Finger Lakes.

Young is known in the Rochester community for his role spearheading the United Way’s African American Leadership Program (AALDP)--a program aimed at identifying, training, and promoting the placement of African Americans in policy-making positions at community organizations in the region. 

But his “claim to fame” may be his classic and historic pictures of people and events from around the Rochester area for more than 40 years. 

Young, a graduate of SUNY Binghamton, worked as an insurance agent for more than 20 years. He began this segment of his journey with the United Way on March 13, 2000. And although he had multiple responsibilities, expressed a greater enjoyment for his position as a coordinator for the AALDP. 

“The program actually began with the Hispanic community in 1992,” he said. "The Hispanic community needed a leadership program to connect them with the systems that moved Rochester. That’s what led them to start the Latino Leadership Development Program (LLDP) and later we introduced the AALDP.” 

In 1995 Mr. Young, himself, was a part of The African American Leadership Program as one having been recruited. Through this, Young says he was able to experience first-hand the advantages of being a part of such an organization to assist in helping the Black community, learning ways to assist in advancing and educating African Americans in our community and abroad. 

"It was a two-week training program that changed my perspective from just being a spectator to actually learning and understanding what was really going on in the Black community and again, learning how to problem solve with proper strategies,” he said. 

Young says his career change to a role in the not-for-profit arena was heavily influenced by a program introduced to him by long-time friend Betty Rainey. 

She was a part of a group of women who took children from Rochester to Africa, specifically Ghana and Senegal, during the February Recess and Spring breaks. 

Over the course of 11 years, Young accompanied the group 8 times to Ghana. He says it was a life-changing experience. 

“It’s important for us to get our young people exposed to a bigger world outside of the world they are used to,” he said.

Betty has since passed away but Young says she will always be remembered and appreciated for having been such a great asset in his life. 

What’s next for Young, post-retirement? He says he’s going to be taking a course in Gerontology to learn about the deeper needs and concerns of our seniors. Being a senior himself, he has decided to expand his knowledge and understanding and be a part of the solution.



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Mar 29

Stop being a troll? Why does the Rochester community owe Rodney? He took and pushed his own agenda and where did it get the community? we are still struggling or are we?


Mar 08

It is disappointing to see an individual holding a position of power within the organization, yet seemingly contributing little to its success. The allegations made against you indicate that your primary focus was not for the betterment of the organization, but rather on pushing your own agenda, which appears to primarily revolve around promoting certain individuals based on their race.

It is disheartening to witness such behavior, as it undermines the principles of fairness and equality that any organization should strive to uphold. By engaging in such discriminatory practices, you not only harm the individuals involved but also stain the reputation of the organization as a whole.

Pay for play is a reprehensible act that undermines the integrity of any…

Mar 09
Replying to

Stop being a troll and find something more productive to do.

The Rochester Community owes Mr Young a debt of gratitude for his part in helping build young leaders.


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