Arrowhead United Way's Women's Leadership Council (WLC) was founded in 2009 and since its inception, the focus has been to develop programs that serve at-risk young women ages 16-24. Recently, it has been renamed Women United to better align with the branding goals of United Way Worldwide. Women United has three areas of focus: education, financial stability, and health education.
The programs of Women United target low-income young women who are at risk of dropping out of high school; not considering a post-secondary education; experienced domestic violence, and may have continued the cycle of poverty as a result of limited education, financial literacy and lack of employment skills.
College Readiness Program
College Readiness workshops take place in the high school as well as in a college or university campus. Participants attend sessions on admissions, scholarships, and other related information facilitated by experts in various fields of education, and participate in a campus scavenger hunt intended to help students become familiar with a college campus.
The goal of the College Readiness workshops is to improve the high school graduation and college-going rates of at-risk female high school students in our service area by exposing them to a typical college day experience.
Health fairs are hosted 1-2 times a year at a local high school or at the San Bernardino Adult School with the goal of educating our young adults about proper eating, exercise, and healthy alternatives. Additionally, once a year Women United hosts a program called Prom Promises. This workshop helps young ladies navigate prom through budgeting, how to dress, self-defense, and the importance of decision making.
Interview for Success
Interview for Success is an exciting program that is helping our youth to prepare for employment. It addresses the 80% unemployment rate among youth ages 16-19 by preparing participants for employment via opportunities to: (1) practice resume writing and job interviewing skills (2) learn social media responsibility, marketing, workplace ethics, and business attire do's & don'ts.
Interview for Success workshops takes place two to three times annually either in the school as a 5-week rotational workshop or on one day with our local partner. The workshops will assist our youth in becoming better prepared for workforce participation and prepared them for long-term employment success via presentations on resume writing, interviewing, professional etiquette and dressing for success.
The members of Women United make a huge impression on our young women during mock interviews, which is a precursor to the job interviews that follow.
All registered participants are given an opportunity to meet with and participate in informational/real interviews with all of the companies that attend our job fair which included companies such as Amazon, Bank of America, Bath & Bodyworks, Costco and Wells Fargo. On the day of this workshop, 100% of the young women looking for a job either received a job offer or an HR contact for the company they were interested in.
Upon completion of the workshop, the participants received a shopping stipend for business attire so that each student has the appropriate job interview, school and/or work clothes.
Through a partnership with local high schools, Next Steps Mentoring Program is designed to support at-risk young women as they complete high school, prepare for their SAT’s and apply for college. There is an ongoing opportunity for mentors. The long-term outcome is to build the confidence of the mentees and guide them toward success.