United teams up with the Golden State Warriors for a deserving teen - United Hub

United teams up with the Golden State Warriors for a deserving teen

By Ryan Hood, May 23, 2018

After cancer cost Zion his leg, we teamed up with the Golden State Warriors to give him the surprise of a lifetime. Watch Zion's journey to San Francisco, and hear the words of encouragement he exchanged with Shaun Livingston before and after the game, with an appearance by Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, who hung out with Zion courtside.

Lovetta Spencer braced herself at the news. The word cancer was barely out of the doctor's mouth, and her mind was already reeling. Days earlier, she had brought in her 17-year-old son Zion Spencer for routine X-rays after he rolled his ankle playing basketball, but test results revealed something much more serious: osteosarcoma – bone cancer – cells in Zion's leg.

As his doctor's voice faded from his ears, Zion's eyes dropped and a look of dread slowly registered on his face. But it had nothing to do with cancer, or life or death. As far as Zion was concerned, the only thing that mattered was when, or if, he'd play basketball again.

In the weeks that followed, Zion, a standout player and captain of his Chicago high school's varsity basketball team, underwent surgery to amputate the lower part of his right leg, the only option to ensure his survival. In what felt like an instant, his athletic dreams came to a crashing end. Then came a beacon of hope he never could have expected.

Thanks to help from the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago – a long time United partner and the place where Zion first learned to love the game – and the Golden State Warriors, our Community Affairs and Marketing teams arranged for Zion, his mother and his brother and sister to fly to San Francisco and attend a Warriors game as the special guest of point guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows something about what Zion has gone through.

In 2007, Shaun was one of the bright spots on a Los Angeles Clippers team that looked poised to emerge as a contender. Then a gruesome knee injury nearly ended his once-promising career. Following 16 months of painful rehabilitation and self-doubt, Shaun returned to the court and in 2015 helped the Warriors to the franchise's first NBA title in 40 years.

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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