In June, the United Way of Southern Nevada Women’s Leadership Council celebrated the local women who joined its national network of dedicated philanthropists, but, more importantly, the organization showed how it will continue the work of creating a better community.

This powerful group of women leaders nationwide has collectively raised over $1 billion in supporting United Way’s mission to improve lives and build stronger communities. In Southern Nevada, the WLC has raised almost $1.9 million in just eight years, investing their dollars in crucial projects, which are changing lives. This year alone, WLC has committed $349,095 to programs in education, income and health, the foundation for a better life.

In education, WLC is supporting familiar agencies in the Las Vegas community including Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, Clark County School District, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Spread the Word Nevada. The agency programs funded by WLC benefit students and teachers, from preschool to high school graduation.

Early childhood educators will be trained in innovative, arts-based teaching methods through the Smith Center’s Wolf Trap Early Learning program, learning fun new ways to get children involved in the classroom. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will have access to homework and learning assistance through the Boys and Girls Club Power Hour Tutors and reading expansion activities through Spread the Word Nevada’s Breakfast With Books and Books & Buddies programs. High school seniors at two local high schools will have the opportunity to visit colleges and have the resources they need to reach graduation through the Family Engagement Resource Centers.

WLC’s support continues through the entire community to improve the lives of women and families. Families are moving out of poverty through the Financial Stability for Families program at the Women’s Development Center, which provides education, training and one-on-one financial counseling. Also through the support of WLC, eight outstanding young women, who otherwise might not have been able to attend college, received scholarships to help them obtain a four-year degree and have the education to be financially successful in the future.

1606_UnitedWay_WLC_CountryClub_Lunch_5952-Edit_highres (1)Helping to build healthy lives, WLC women funded two agencies that have already made a huge impact in our community through previous WLC funding. The Shade Tree’s Stallman Touro Clinic provides medication, supplies and equipment to help over 200 domestic violence victims and their children. Girls on the Run inspires third to fifth grade girls in at-risk schools, combining goal oriented training with positive messaging. At the end of the program, girls complete a 5K run, some even with their new running buddies, WLC members.

More than simply funding programs, WLC is creating a stronger future for Southern Nevada. As Alyssa Mayor, one of the recipients of WLC’s Emerging Leadership Award for Women, said, “the people behind the actual scholarship continue to support me, and I have strong women as my role models.” The incredible women that make up the WLC are supporting programs, organizations and individuals that will improve people’s lives in Southern Nevada for years to come.