Women United is making a difference for San Bernardino County youth



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Founded in 2009, and tackling issues of economic prosperity in our area, Arrowhead United Way’s Women United has been working with youth.

The group has been focused on mentoring, workforce development and college readiness workshops. These programs help women age 16-24 in low-income situations who are at risk of dropping out of high school, not considering post-secondary education, and experiencing domestic violence.

The Women United organization assists about 250 young women in the community each year. Students served through Women United programs live throughout San Bernardino County.

Mentoring programs connect the mentees to services with community organizations to meet individual students’ needs to sustain participation and to stay on track to complete academic requirements. These services include academic assistance, career exploration, college applications and financial assistance, college tours, and community involvement.

The long-term outcome is to build confidence achieve success. Women United works with local high school staff in recruiting and partners each young woman with a Women United member as a mentor.

The Interview for Success workshop guides unemployed/underemployed young women in becoming better prepared for the workforce with training that includes resume writing, interviewing, professional etiquette, and professional dressing. Students do not visit places of employment to see examples of professional attire, however past workshops have included example as well as presentations and consultations from stylists.

Mock Interviews are also a component of the Interview for Success Workshop and are facilitated by Women United members and community volunteers. Participants answer questions about their personal and professional goals and their future, in 5 and 10 years, as well as weaknesses and strength. The finale is a $200 shopping spree for the young women at a department store so they’re able to purchase professional attire for a job interview.

College readiness workshops take place in the spring and fall and are conducted in partnership with area colleges and universities. Workshops include topics like “Myths about College” and “Enhancing the College Experience.” Students tour college campuses, observe classes and hear presentations from students and the administrators.

There are other programs each year too, including scholarship application clinics, supply drives, mental health workshops, and goal setting workshops.

Thank you Women United, and please be mindful of the words of Emma Watson who said, “I found that ultimately if you truly pour your heart into what you believe in – even if it makes you vulnerable – amazing things can and will happen.”

Margaret Hill is a member of the San Bernardino City Unified School District board.


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