Helping Young Women Achieve Their Dreams

United Way's Women's Leadership CouncilWith the rising cost of education, it seems like a daunting goal for teenagers from low-income families to pursue their dreams. United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council helped change that story for Leslie Miranda and Monica Guiza by awarding each of them a WLC Emerging Leadership Award for Women to help them attend a local college.

“It is the epitome of what WLC stands for and endeavors to achieve,” said Judy Kropid, WLC Project Co-chair. “It made us all very proud to be WLC members.”

While Guiza has a goal of becoming an elementary school teacher and Miranda dreams of practicing law to aid others in difficult situations, one thing is true for both recipients, they worked diligently to succeed and give back during high school but needed financial assistance to attend college.

… the best thing this organization is doing is leading by example and focusing on the youth, because the youth are the future leaders of the community.
Miranda’s mother is from Guatemala and her father is from Mexico. Both of her parents travelled to America in their youth to pursue the American dream.

“This award means that I can further my education without financial worries,” said Miranda. “This award isn’t just a ‘scholarship to me, it’s an opportunity to get to know some amazing people who take the time out of their day in order to give back to the community.”

According to Guiza, the award will allow her to go to college and accomplish her goal of changing the lives of children in her community.

“This award has taken the burden of paying for my education, and I am so thankful to be a recipient,” explained Guiza. “I am also extremely honored to be a part of an organization filled with individuals who are not just leaders, but also loving and caring individuals.”

According to one committee member who participated in the selection process, Tiffany Tyler, Ph.D., Chief Operations Officer of Nevada Hand, Guiza and Miranda were selected from a pool of qualified candidates.

“Both were well-poised, demonstrated a strong commitment to community service, and were diligent in their academic studies as evidenced by their grade point averages and the strength of their course studies,” explained Tyler. “They concluded their presentations with firm handshakes and closing regards.”

Guiza believes that the WLC opens doors for individuals and helps them achieve their goals.

“Whether it is through education, financial aid or career opportunities, this organization helps individuals in many ways,” said Guiza. “It is amazing to see how a group of individuals can be impactful and bring together a community.”

Miranda is inspired by the fact that WLC members are committed to creating a brighter future for southern Nevada.

“It’s not just the resource centers, health clinics and other events they have put together that benefit the community, it’s the spirit that they bring,” explained Miranda. “I think the best thing this organization is doing is leading by example and focusing on the youth, because the youth are the future leaders of the community.”