Preparing Future Leaders While Giving Back to the Community

Philanthropy is one of the cornerstones of the Engler College of Business and, with the help of the United Way of Amarillo & Canyon, our students were able to give back to the community for the Holidays. This will be the second year in which students will allocate $10,000 in seed money to donate to five local programs.

  • Boy Scouts, Golden Spread Council – $2,250
  • Veterans Resource Center of Family Support Services – $2,250
  • Wesley Community Center, Senior Program – $1,500
  • Refugee Services of Texas – $2,500
  • The Salvation Army of Amarillo – $1,500

This initiative is designed around creating a student-centered process for giving with the United Way by teaching students how to make philanthropic decisions that impact their community.

Dr. Amjad Abdullat, Dean of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business said “… most students do not have substantial funds to donate to the United Way or other agencies. Some students may have received assistance from an agency and they know what it means to receive a gift from others. With this project, we want to give our students the opportunity to participate in giving from the donor perspective.”

This year, student leaders from across the College with the help of Adam Leathers, United Way Senior Director of Community Impact, participated in Zoom presentations given by program leaders. The presentations provided our students with a selection of Panhandle programs and taught our students how to analyze these opportunities. Students’ selected opportunities for giving in consideration of criteria that that emphasized the needs of the Panhandle Community that would readily continue the positive legacy of Paul Engler’s generous gift for students.

“All of the activities are designed to develop future leaders in our local community. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the United Way and persistently growing the giving spirit in the Panhandle with our efforts,” said Dr. Robert Allen King, Associate Dean of Graduate Business Programs.

“The United Way Giving Campaign was an amazing opportunity to learn what it is like to give back to the community. It was a unique experience to see how donations work to directly impact each organization and their mission to combat poverty, which ultimately affects our community as a whole.”

– Jenna Downs, Accounting Major

Student Leaders, current degree program, role, and association:

  • Jaxon Bellar, BBA Management, Engler Ambassador
  • Jenna Downs, BBA Accounting, Engler Ambassador
  • Andrea Mata, BS Economics, ECON Club
  • Kate Parker, BBA Accounting, Accounting and Finance Association
  • Allie Rankin, BBA Marketing, American Marketing Association
  • Carolina Varela Neri, BBA Marketing, Engler Ambassador
  • Emma Weinheimer, BBA Accounting, Student Advisory Board
  • Farzana Zahir, BS Biology, Enactus

For more information about donating or volunteering with the United Way of Amarillo & Canyon, go to or call 806-376-6359.