After four years of worrying how she would get her next meal and where she would lay her head at night, Delores Monteiro was bone weary of life on the streets. She shared with UWSN that “losing my job was the scariest moment of my life. Not just for me, but my family.”
Pam experienced a dark childhood filled with both verbal and physical abuse, and was unable to find a way to cope with the challenges surrounding her that were beyond her control. With the support of the WLC, the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT), a Las Vegas organization that supports job seekers, was able to send Pam to a stagehand course offered in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and provide wrap-around support as she was learning. Upon completion of the course, Pam was hired at a starting wage of $13 per hour.
What do your fellow WLC members have to say about our program? Plenty. When we asked members to describe WLC in just one word, we were delighted with many answers: Empowering. Impactful. Embracing. Life-changing. Community.
Danielle Domnitz reflects, “I am a WLC member because I feel so in touch with this magnetic group of women. They are loving and energetic and dedicated to focusing on community projects that have an impact right here in our own backyard.”
Life’s not easy without a solid education. Currently, 54 percent of all jobs in Southern Nevada require a post-secondary degree or certificate, but only 30 percent of adults in our region have attained this level of education. For this reason, UWSN is proud to partner with the Leaders in Training (LIT) college prep organization to empower students to be the first in their families to receive a college degree. With WLC’s help, LIT further aims for its students to return to Southern Nevada to give back to their communities after graduation.
With the support of the WLC, UWSN is delighted to report another success story. A Communities in Schools student was forced to move several times during his first two years of high school. Because of these disruptions, he was initially missing an entire semester’s worth of credits needed to graduate on time. At this point, Communities in Schools stepped into the picture. Through the support and motivation of their Academy Classes, supported by WLC funding, this dedicated student is now determined to graduate on time.
The UNLV Foundation is helping students who need a little extra support in high school. Veta Belford, a junior, was short three and a half credits needed for graduation. Through the Back On Track (BOT) initiative to improve high school graduation rates, she was able to make up those credits and is now on the way to graduating from high school and continuing toward a bright future. Sidney Flores, a senior, was missing the health education credit she needed to graduate. BOT helped her to recover this credit and now she, too, can look forward to greater achievements in the time to come.
WLC is taking strides in the area of early childhood education. UWSN is thrilled to report that at the Taylor Elementary School’s Awards Assembly, one of the students benefiting from Spread the Word Nevada programming received two student awards: attendance and most improved. Best of all, the most improved award was in reading! Another Spread the Word student was recognized as student of the month, testing at the 4.0 grade level—a marked improvement from the time when he did not have WLC supporting him.
United Way of Southern Nevada's Women's Leadership Council is making great things happen! Since 2013, we’ve been thrilled to offer scholarships to young women, who have high hopes to pursue their educations in service disciplines, through our Emerging Leadership Award Scholarships. Our first 2016 to 2017 recipient, Jasmine Avagyan is studying biology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas—with a view to continue on to a medical degree. Our second recipient for this same time period, Junhee Bae, intends to study nursing.
United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN) launched Community Connect, a new online information hub that brings together community stories, data, programs, and other resources to help us determine our community’s biggest issues and focus advocacy efforts effectively.