‘The Girl for the Job’; Kathy Ireland, Women United Join to Advance Youth Literacy

Speaking to the sold-out crowd at Women United’s second annual luncheon March 1, Kathy Ireland credited her first job to the reading and writing skills instilled in her from a young age. Answering a newspaper delivery classified ad that asked, “Are you the boy for the job?” Ireland at the age of 11 wrote back, “I’m the girl.”

The supermodel turned businesswoman joined United Way of Santa Barbara County’s (UWSBC) Women United for the “Beauty and the Beast”-themed “A Classic Storybook Luncheon” at the Coral Casino. Ireland discussed how a powerful network of women working together, like Women United, can move the needle on key local issues that will make our community a better place.

”It’s critical that we fight for this for children because, tragically, there are so many children and adults who are not able to read,” said Ireland. “Illiteracy is dangerous. It allows young people to incorrectly believe that they are somehow less than. It slams shut doors, and it kills dreams.”

In total, the luncheon raised over $58,000 to help support UWSBC’s early education programs in Santa Barbara County. Ireland supports various philanthropic causes such as local education, in line with Women United’s efforts to expand opportunities for young students.

The 200 attendees also heard from Hope Elementary School Principal Barbara LaCorte, who discussed the power behind Pre-K programs, such as United Way’s Kindergarten Success Institute.

“Imagine starting a race many steps behind the start line or many laps behind,” LaCorte said. “That is the experience of many children in Santa Barbara County. Please make a difference today.”

Women United mobilizes a powerful leadership network of women to strengthen the Santa Barbara community. Through fundraising, volunteerism and advocacy, Women United focuses on expanding United Way’s early educational opportunities such as the Kindergarten Success Institutes and United for Literacy. Women United ensures that more underserved children and families succeed during crucial early elementary school years and beyond.

For more information, visit www.unitedwaysb.org.

About United Way of Santa Barbara County

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™ priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.

About Women United

The mission of Women United is to mobilize a powerful leadership network of women to strengthen the Santa Barbara community through a focused investment of talent, compassion and philanthropy. Women United works to improve the community through participating in enriching volunteer, networking and educational activities. Through these programs Women United hopes to build better futures for all.

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