United Way improves educational and life outcomes for children, youth and young adults from Birth to Career, by advancing equity and excellence in education. Every step in a child’s life lays the foundation for future success. Together with our partners, we’re working on a variety of education programs and initiatives.

Cradle to Career (C2C) is a partnership of leaders from both the education and business sectors in Pima County who are using data to improve educational outcomes. The Family Support Alliance provides at-risk families the parenting resources they need to raise healthy and engaged children. The Great Expectations program offers free professional development to early childhood educators. Read On Tucson provides support to five local school districts to improve third grade reading scores. The Quality First program aims to increase access to high quality programs for families with children birth to age 5.

  • 735 Opportunity Youth connected back to education and career pathways through the Re-Engagement Center
  • 171,443 books given to children with literacy tips for parents
  • 631 individuals learned new early childhood education and family support building skills
  • 1,601 adults attended classes to become better parents


DanitzaUnited Way supports several programs aimed at getting children ready to be successful in school and beyond. Each year, those programs help tens of thousands here in Southern Arizona, including 5-year-old Danitza. Danitza was born with a condition commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease. Even the slightest bump, slip or fall can turn into a hospital visit and oftentimes, extensive surgery. Her parents desperately wanted to raise healthy and well-educated children and didn’t want little Danitza to fall behind her peers. Fortunately, someone told her mother, Damaris, about the United Way-funded program, Parents as Teachers. Her Parent Educator, Veronica, worked with Damaris on age-appropriate activities that would prepare Danitza for kindergarten. Since it is likely that she will miss school due to her disease, having strong communication, critical thinking and motor skills is vital for Danitza’s future. Veronica also helped Danitza’s parents set goals for their children, benchmarks to keep them on track to succeed in life. Damaris says they’ve met every single one of them! Most recently, they graduated from the Parents as Teachers program and because of that, little Danitza started kindergarten and she loves it! Her parents say they could not have done it without the help of the Parents as Teachers program and United Way.

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