VYH announces Emily A. Conners, M.S. receives 2018 AFP Rising Star Award

Valley Youth House (VYH) is pleased to announce that Emily A. Conners, M.S., will receive the 2018 Rising Star Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Eastern PA Chapter. This award is presented to a fundraising professional with five or fewer years paid experience who exemplifies professionalism and creativity, has documented success in fundraising and a commitment to professional development.

A lifelong Lehigh Valley resident, Conners attended Freedom High School before studying Sociology (Human Services concentration) and Geography at Bucknell University.  After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Conners was accepted into the AmeriCorps VISTA national service program, where she worked within the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s education initiative in the Easton Area School District.  Conners mobilized people and resources to eliminate barriers to learning for low income students by evaluating data, building relationships with nonprofits, and enhancing marketing practices in order to increase and promote the school district’s community partnerships.  In 2016, Conners attained her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.

Conners is currently a Development Officer at Valley Youth House, a $29 million human services agency that annually serves over 31,000 homeless, foster, and vulnerable youth and families throughout Pennsylvania.  Conners’ responsibilities include raising over $500,000 per year through development operations, including special events, corporate sponsorships, community partnerships, annual giving, and third party fundraisers. This role also encompasses marketing responsibilities such as media relations, branding, public relations, and internal and external content creation and communications.  Since 2016, Conners has raised $1.9 million dollars in fundraising revenue for Valley Youth House.

Conners was a 2017 graduate of Leadership Lehigh Valley at the Center for Business & Industry and has been honored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter as one of “Lehigh Valley’s Finest”.  She is currently a member of the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) Eastern PA Chapter’s NextGen Committee and was selected as the chapter’s Chamberlain Scholar in 2018.

Conners serves on the Advisory Committee for Lehigh Valley Summerbridge, where she taught during college.  Lehigh Valley Summerbridge is a nonprofit education program for low-income, middle school youth, hosted by Moravian Academy.  Conners is also the Co-President of the Bucknell Club of the Lehigh Valley.

“In addition to raising significant funds from individual and corporate donors, Emily Conners has greatly expanded the agency’s website and online presence on multiple social media platforms, leading to increased recognition of the agency’s brand, mission, and accomplishments.  We greatly appreciate her dedication and exceptional commitment to helping address the ever changing needs of the youth and families who receive our programming and services,” comments Christina Schoemaker, Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing at Valley Youth House.