United Way Accepting Applications for WomenRise Program

Back for a second year, the program will award 20 scholarships, up from six last year

RICHMOND, Va. (April 27, 2022) – On Sunday, May 1, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg will begin the application period for the second year of its WomenRise scholarship program, which empowers single mothers to work toward a post-secondary degree or credential without the burden of childcare expenses. In United Way’s local service area, the poverty rate for single mother families is 29.7% compared to 12.2% for single father families and 3.7% for married couple families.

During the WomenRise pilot in 2021, United Way awarded six local single mothers a total of $65,000 in childcare scholarships. As a result of the successful pilot and additional donor support, WomenRise will expand to help 20 local moms on their road to obtaining post-secondary education or training.

“This program exists to help single mothers reach their education and career goals, which will help their families on the path to a successful future. WomenRise had a huge impact in 2021, and we’re looking forward to doing even more in 2022 thanks to the incredible support of United Way’s donors,” said James L.M. Taylor, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “We know that the cost of childcare can be a barrier to success for families, especially for single mothers, and we look forward to meeting the 2022 class and seeing all they accomplish.”

WomenRise scholarships are available on an annual basis to local single mothers with an application process every spring. The scholarships cover the cost of direct care services per child during the time the mother is enrolled in classes or a training program. Scholarships are paid directly to the childcare provider.

This volunteer-led program is managed by members of United Way’s local Women United giving community. Women United members lead this program by fundraising, awarding scholarships, planning events and providing encouragement and support to WomenRise scholarship recipients.

In order to apply, applicants should be a single female head of household with custody of at least one child; be enrolled or have plans to enroll in an education or career training program that is at least 40 hours and that results in a degree or credential; have an annual income of $60,000 or less; reside in the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg region; and use a licensed or voluntary registered child care provider. The application period runs through May 31. United Way will announce scholarship decisions this summer.

Click here to learn more about the WomenRise program and how to apply.

About United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg empowers individuals and addresses systemic problems to provide everyone with a clear path to success. We do this by conducting research, funding programs and organizations, driving systems-level change and engaging with individuals in 11 localities across the region. Learn more at YourUnitedWay.org.