Valley of the Sun United Way has a five-year plan for creating Mighty Change in Maricopa County. We are working alongside our nonprofit partners to achieve seven bold community goals. One of those goals is to increase resources needed for individuals to raise their income and create sustainable careers.
By 2026, we plan to increase the achievement of higher paying employment by 20%. One organization helping to make this happen is Live and Learn.
Live and Learn offers one-on-one support for young women in Maricopa County whose lives have been shaped by poverty, homelessness, and domestic violence. The women are paired with a Client Coordinator who work with them to achieve their goals. The program is tailored to each women’s needs and goals, whether that be completing their education or entering the workforce. During the 2-year program, women can receive career guidance, job training, mentoring, financial assistance and emotional support.
25-year-old Jasmine is new to the program. She is currently working to finish her education journey and hopes to work in the mental health or nonprofit field. Jasmine says Live and Learn is helping her find financial stability, something her family struggles with.
“Live and Learn is helping me to break the ancestral cycle. It’s a vicious cycle that I am trying to get out of. I feel it will give me the independence to actually start and be the first one in my family to change.”
Jasmine says a big motivator for her is her young nieces. She wants to show them how important education is. She says, “I want to show my nieces there is more than just finding the best paying job; go to college and do something that makes you happy.”
Live and Learn has proven success. One of their own employees is an alumni of the program. Iris Ortega joined the program in 2012. She says the program supported her along her education journey. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree and went on to get a nonprofit leadership certification. Iris returned to Live and Learn and became the Community Engagement Manager. She says she is proud to provide the support that the program once gave to her.
“We are here for them. We know that having someone that is there for them… cheering them on and supporting them will help them reach anything that they set their minds to.”
Empowering these women has a ripple effect on our community. It allows more women to enter the workforce which helps end poverty, food insecurity and improves the health of the women and their families.
Donating to Valley of the Sun United Way allows more women to have access to these life-changing programs. Your dollars will help cover the cost of job training, fees for certification exams, bus passes, childcare and more. Learn more about donating.
Valley of the Sun United Way is proud to partner with Live and Learn to create Mighty Change in the lives of women across our community. Together, with our generous donors by our side, we’re confident we’ll increase access to better paying jobs for everyone.