Arrowhead Women United offers resources for young people
By Diane Anderson
Upon exiting COVID-19 and into the next school year, the challenge for many students will be to stay focused, complete their academic goals, refine basic life skills, and try to give a meaning to what will follow.
Women United from Arrowhead United Way brings them there in style.
Pamela Montana, president of Women United and Educational Liaison for San Bernardino County, said throughout the pandemic they have continued to guide students through high school, college and beyond.
On Saturday July 17, several high-level local professional women invite young girls aged 16 to 24 to participate in their “interview for success” where they can learn how to get a job, polish their resumes and dress for success. . The event, which requires registration, takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Currently, the group mentors teenagers from Middle College High School. Over the past year, volunteers have promoted a variety of creative outreach efforts to keep girls moving forward toward their academic and personal goals.
“We had to find a way to connect,” she said. “Most of our girls are African American or Hispanic, they don’t have the resources and their parents want to be able to help them but they don’t know how to navigate. This is where we come in.
Over the past year, they have held professional workshops on how to apply to college, complete applications, and research grants and scholarships.
Although they were unable to host workshops in person due to COVID, Montana said they were successful in closely monitoring student performance and inspiring girls to keep going. before.
“Each mentee had a mentor. They could always reach out even if it wasn’t school related because they were isolated, they were far from their schools, from their friends, ”she said.
The women work with youth at Middle College High School, which is across from San Bernardino Valley College and caters to students between 2.5 and 3.5 GPA. There, they have the opportunity to graduate from high school while earning credits for their associate’s degree at the same time.
Montana said in the past Women United had a volunteer at Arroyo Valley High School, which has since transferred to Middle College High School.
This left a vacancy. She still hopes that a mentor will rise up to continue the good work. It is a serious commitment. Mentors are trained and must devote at least one year to the program. This can include in person, sometimes Zoom, text, or email.
Coming up, an intern from Cal State University, San Bernardino, will help students with their resumes, how to apply for a job, and the importance of keeping social media clean and professional.
Before COVID, the program offered workshop attendees annual shopping sprees in Ross, but this year they hosted a barbecue for the girls and their families. Each of the young girls received a $ 500 scholarship and an iPad.
Gwen Rodgers, president and CEO of Arrowhead United Way, said their programs reach the entire community in a number of ways, often without much fanfare.
Working with the young women of Time for Change Foundation has always been a big dream for her, and she was excited to help during the difficult times of the pandemic.
Women’s United, an affinity group with Arrowhead United Way, was able to donate supplies and laptops to young women there. Equally important, they offered one-on-one mentorship.
“We knew it was important to connect with the girls and we were successful in doing it. I am very grateful for the work that is being done all the time. The girls have the last end of year event. We’ve had the majors and done amazing things, ”she said.
Volunteers come together as a collective, acting as role models by highlighting their particular professional fields for girls. Mentors from different backgrounds donate time and talent in their areas of expertise.
“They are educators, they are women in the banking sector and women who work in the county. Women United is open to women who have a passion for working with young women, ”said Rodgers. “I think it’s noble of them because they are working women, some are retired.”
For women who want to participate and help, she said it promises to be a great and rewarding experience.
To learn more about the Arrowhead programs, see https://www.arrowheadunitedway.org/
To register for the Women United for Success interview, go to www.bit.ly-wu-registration
To learn more about Middle College High School https://www.sbcusd.com/student_resources/linked_learning/middle_college_high_school