United Way Works to End America's Education Crisis

United Way's education goal is to ensure that youth gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials so that they are prepared for workforce and able to obtain family-sustaining employment.

Success in life begins with a quality education. And yet, millions of children and youth lack the support they need to strengthen their literacy, stay on track in school, graduate high school and find a career.

We're fighting to shift the odds so tomorrow's leaders can build a better foundation today. With an approach to education that spans from cradle to career, we're ensuring every child gets a strong start in life, teenagers have the tools to learn and grow, and young adults thrive in the job market.

The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvment, literacy volunteers in the classroom, mentors for disadvantaged students, and business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy.


Bobcat UniversityBobcat University is a full-day, four week program that blends academic learning in the morning with hands-on enrichment activities that marshal the resources of the community in the afternoon.

Big Brothers Big Sister, Heart of Iowa: We create and support one-to-one relationships through mentoring that ignites the power and promise of the youth.

Girl Scouts of Greater IowaIn partnership with committed and trained adults (18 years of age or older), girls develop qualities that will serve them all of their lives - like strong values, a social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

Boy Scouts, Mid-Iowa Council: Through a variety of practical experiences, young people are afforded the opportunity to learn about teamwork and leadership. No matter whether these young people were followers or leaders, it almost always meant working with others.

Al Éxito: The only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the educational achievement and transformative leadership capacity of Latino youth and their families, to succeed in life and participating fully in Iowa. Al Éxito inspires, prepares, supports, and postitions Latino leaders, middle school through college, for postsecondary attainment, career readiness, and civic engagement.

Sea Cadets, Central Iowa Division: The Central Iowa Division of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps is a part of a national organization with more than 260 local units for boys and girls ages as young as 11 years old who have a desire to learn about the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine.