Jorge. Jasmine and Lin. Robbyosha. Cody. Dana. To some, these may just be names, but to the nine agencies funded by United Way of Southern Nevada’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), these are success stories. These are real people who started on the path to a better life through the community’s support and the efforts of a dedicated group of women committed to making a difference.
These individuals are only six of the thousands of lives changed by the partners receiving funding through WLC’s investment of $543,114 in 2017. The nine funded agencies were the first organizations selected to support United Way’s Community-Based Agenda, focusing on education, student success, post-secondary attainment and workforce supports.
“We saw this as an opportunity to lead the charge in moving the cradle-to-career framework forward,” said Rebecca Howell, chair of the WLC project funding committee. “We laid the groundwork to solve some of our community’s biggest problems with these partners, and we’re proud to celebrate their impact.”
In early education, members selected Spread the Word Nevada and their Leaders for Literacy program at Taylor Elementary School. Over the year of the program, 806 families reported reading together daily, providing a strong foundation to increase the proportion of third graders reading at grade level.
When selecting partners in student success, the project funding committee chose organizations who were committed to raising the high school graduation rate in Southern Nevada. Four selected agencies helped 2,486 students across the community get back on track to graduate in just one year.
To help students reach graduation day, Chicanos Por La Causa, Communities in Schools of Nevada, Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada and UNLV Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach offered credit retrieval, transcript reviews and tutoring in local schools. These agencies also worked to prepare 4,814 students for life after high school with financial aid workshops and college and career readiness classes during the 2017-18 school year.
WLC members chose to continue this momentum and empower the next generation of female leaders by helping young women pursuing college degrees. Through a partnership with the Public Education Foundation, six women were awarded the Emerging Leadership Award for Women scholarship. “The WLC members are proud to support these young women who are changing our community for the better,” said Howell. “This year was especially inspiring, as we saw our very first recipient graduate and receive her degree.”
Members also supported alternate paths to careers with their investment in Tech Impact. Through the IT Works and CX Works programs, Tech Impact helped 66 young adults gain IT certifications and customer service experience to empower them to build a career.
With WLC’s support, 4,268 adults in Southern Nevada found careers as well. Goodwill of Southern Nevada and Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) helped individuals build customized career paths and empowered people into jobs that paid enough to support their families without public assistance.
United Way plans to continue this success in 2018-2021. Girls on the Run – Las Vegas, FIT, Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation, Leaders in Training, Nevada Health Centers and Sunrise Children’s Foundation were awarded $1,000,000 over three years to grow their impact and solve the community’s complex problems.
WLC members and all of the partner agencies will celebrate the incredible work they’ve accomplished and the thousands of lives changed at the Women’s Leadership Council Luncheon Fashion Show on March 1, 2019. Join in the celebration at uwsn.org/wlcluncheon.