GoLocalWorcester Lifestyle Team
The eleven programs hope to reduce the level of violence affecting girls. Photo from the YWCA of Central Massachusetts
The Women’s Initiative of United Way of Central Massachusetts recently awarded $299,208 to fund 11 programs in Central Massachusetts that directly impact the lives of area girls.
The following 11 funded programs are focused on reducing the incidence of violence affecting girls through the strategy of building, strengthening and supporting the development of healthy, safe, and confident girls.
They are: SMART Girls Plus, Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, $35,000; All Kinds of Girls, Clark University, $14,000; Strong Girls Healthy Choices, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, $30,000; Dear World: Voices of Worcester, Girls Incorporated of Worcester, $35,000; Latina Achievers in Search of Success (LASOS), Latino Education Institute (LEI) Worcester State Foundation, $35,631; Project Shine, LUK Crisis Center, Inc., $15,356; Just Us Girls, Seven Hills Family Services, $18,345; One Circle Program, The Community Builders Plumley Village,$15,000; One Circle Program, Worcester Youth Center, $15,000; ASCEND Program, Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc., $28,000; Girls Promoting Safety, YWCA of Central Massachusetts, $57,876.
In addition to funding programs and events, Women’s Initiative continues to offer free community-wide economic empowerment conferences, called “Dollar $cholar,” for eighth-grade girls in Worcester and surrounding towns. During the last few years, nearly 2,500 girls from central Massachusetts were taught the value of financial literacy for economic self-sufficiency. This year alone Women’s Initiative’s members mentored more than 400 girls from Auburn and Shrewsbury teaching, not only about budgeting and money, but encouraging girls to explore their dreams and giving them the opportunity to develop academically, socially, and emotionally.
The Women’s Initiative is an affinity group of United Way, comprised of women who have come together to make a difference in our community. It is part of a national trend of women engaging in leadership and philanthropy, organized to create a powerful force to effect change in their society. Working with volunteer committees of community leaders, the Women’s Initiative has engaged more than 1,100 members in their work, with total collective fundraising reaching the $3 million mark during their 10th anniversary year.
United Way of Central Massachusetts connects people and resources to improve the community. United Way ensures that the most vulnerable among us have a safety net to stabilize them today, while working to break the cycle of poverty for the next generation. For more information about United Way of Central Massachusetts or Women’s Initiative, go to http://www.unitedwaycm.org.