United Way and HACES Expand Parent Mentor Program
United Way of Lake County and HACES (Hispanic American Community Education and Services) are proud to announce a partnership and collaboration to deliver an expanded Parent Mentor program that puts parents in the classroom to mentor Waukegan students, kindergarten through fifth grade.
Parents are trained as mentors and volunteer in a classroom four times a week for a minimum of 100 hours per semester. Parent Mentors provide direct support to students to improve their math and literacy skills and to provide additional social emotional support. The Parent Mentors also have weekly training on financial literacy, computer skills, leadership, and more. They help to fill the equity gap by volunteering in schools and creating positive change through parent engagement. The program has English and Spanish-speaking mentors with the goal of serving more than 600 students this school year in five Waukegan elementary schools.
“After a successful first year, it became clear that there was a need for even more parental involvement,” said Maria-Elena Jonas, Founder and Executive Director of HACES. “The support United Way provides will allow us to serve many more students, helping us make an even bigger impact in the community.”
Recruitment is underway for parents to serve in the classroom for two hours per day in their child’s school. The program is open to all parents who are looking to learn valuable life skills and make a positive impact on their child’s school and community. Parent Mentors work one-on-one or in small groups with students who need extra support in the classroom. They are provided the necessary training, offered weekly workshops on professional development skills in academic instruction and leadership, and compensated with a modest stipend.
Women United Hosts Back to School Fair
Earlier this month, Women United hosted a Back to School Fair at Whispering Oaks Apartments in Waukegan. Families who attended the fair enjoyed free haircuts for children, face painting, ice cream, and other fun activities. Women United members also distributed more than 100 backpacks full of school supplies so the children would have the tools they need for school, as well as books, lunch boxes, and dental hygiene kits.
Thank you to the more than 50 women who donated, volunteered or coordinated the event, and thank you to our partners for joining us to brighten the lives of the families who attended. This event was a shining example of the power of giving back. It was filled with community spirit and able to come to life through the generosity of the kind-hearted individuals who make up Women United and the local businesses who believe in investing in our communities!
Launch a Workplace Giving Campaign
Your organization, large or small, can help us create a stronger Lake County through a United Way workplace campaign. Whether your campaign is virtual or in-person, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to plan, coordinate and implement a successful fundraising campaign.
Is your organization ready to LIVE UNITED? We’ll help you get started.
Learn About Women United on Your Lunch Break
Are you looking for ways to connect to amazing women in our community, opportunities to volunteer and socialize, or ways to make a measurable difference for children in Lake County? Please join Women United on Wednesday, September 20 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. on Zoom for a prospective member Lunch & Learn.
Women United mobilizes more than 135 amazing women to help ensure that all children living in Lake County have an equal opportunity to start school ready to succeed. In addition to caring deeply about this collective effort, we have a vibrant calendar of social, volunteer and philanthropic events to make it fun and doable regardless of your busy schedule.
Company Spotlight: Derse
In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Derse—a full-service trade show and event agency—partnered with United Ways throughout the country to lead food drives supporting local communities. Here in Lake County, Derse partnered with UWLC to give hundreds of goods to local residents including diapers, cereal boxes, juices, and much more. Derse donated their collections to Cool Ministries Food Pantry in Waukegan and Avon Township Food Pantry in Round Lake.
“Derse is a fantastic employer with a great culture that takes care of each and every employee. I believe where much is given much is expected. Here in Derse Northbrook, we are all blessed with the ability to give even if it was a little. It is only fitting that we share with those who are in need of a helping hand. All employees were very generous with their donations. I am thankful we were able to contribute as a group.”
Welcome, Sophia Cotton and Marissa Gomez!
We recently welcomed two people to our United Way family; Sophia Cotton has joined us as 211 Manager, and Marissa Gomez has transitioned from Success By 6 Intern to our Success By 6 Initiative Coordinator!
Learn more about Sophia and Marissa’s roles, how they connect with our programs, and what they enjoy in their free time by clicking on their names below.