Eli Yussuf serves as the Agency Relations Manager for United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG). He is responsible for the development and implementation of UWBG's three annual grants, which includes everything from applications to evaluations to distributions to data reporting. These grants collectively support 134 programs run by 76 partner organizations which serve people in the areas of education, financial stability, and basic needs. Eli maintains and builds relationships with partner organizations, creating opportunities for further collaboration on shared objectives and responding to grant-related concerns or issues.
Eli's passion for public service extends back to his days as a high school student in Memphis, where he volunteered with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of Memphis to provide meals to people experiencing homelessness. At Vanderbilt, Eli joined Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a co-ed fraternity dedicated to public service, and frequently volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank with APO members. Eli served in research and partner engagement roles in internships with nonprofits such as the American Red Cross, Mary's Center, and Enroll America. Eli also joined the board of Vanderbilt's MSA chapter and helped organize events and rallies which brought greater awareness to issues facing Muslims in Nashville, America, and worldwide.
After graduating from Vanderbilt, Eli interned on the field team of a mayoral campaign in Nashville and moved on to work full-time on the field team of a congressional campaign in Maryland's 8th congressional district. Eli's year-long experience with political campaigns motivated him to learn more about the various avenues and opportunities within the realm of public service, which led him to pursue and earn his Master's in Public Administration at the University of Kentucky. His experience in nonprofits and in graduate school have helped him learn about the critical role of nonprofits in service delivery for populations that are under-served by the private or public sectors.