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Sanaa Works Toward a Brighter Future

Sanaa moved with her family to the United States – first to Alabama, then to Denver – from Baghdad, Iraq, when her husband got sick.

Sanaa was eager to support her growing family. She had been an Arabic teacher in Iraq, but her early work experience in the US was limited to housekeeping. She wanted something more fulfilling, so she applied for a job with Denver Public Schools Transportation Services to work with students with special needs.

Angellynne Finds Stability and Hope

Having struggled with homelessness and addiction, Angellynne knew where a life of instability could lead. Her challenge was to overcome her past. And she was determined.

Angellynne built up her courage and dialed Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center. Within seconds, she was sharing her story – and hopes – with someone who was genuinely listening. The 2-1-1 specialist offered Angellynne a resource: a local sober housing program with an opening. It was the one program she had not yet tried.

Layden Finds Support at School

Students like Layden fall behind in reading for a variety of reasons – language barriers, hunger, lack of access to books – and reading at grade level by the end of third grade is one of the best predictors of whether kids will graduate from high school on time. Layden’s reading skills needed support, and his mom was thrilled when he was selected to participate in Mile High United Way’s Colorado Reading Corps.

Julie Becomes a Volunteer

Many of us have wondered how that person on the corner became homeless. Whether that teen mom waiting for the bus with her child, will have the support she needs to finish her education. Or what the future holds for that third grader reading on a first grade level – and whether or not there is something we can do to help.

Kenia Creates Positive Change

Have you ever felt overlooked, unnoticed, or forgotten? For many of the parents, residents, and community members I work with at Swansea Elementary, this feeling is a reality. People in Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea have experienced this feeling for decades. Although these residents face one of the highest poverty rates in Denver County, they are proud of their rich culture, history, and their hopes and dreams for their children are just as bright as ever.

Samuel and Marie Find Safety in their Community

Where do you turn when you or your child encounters challenges, or when you simply need a few words of encouragement?

Samuel, a first-time father, turned to Mile High United Way’s Center for Family Opportunity. He was relieved to learn that the Center had resources to support his wife, Marie, and their new son.

Shanell Pays it Forward

Where would you turn as a mother if you were studying for your degree, working hard to make a better life for your family, and you found yourself short on rent due to unexpected challenges?

Rahmet Seeks New Opportunities

Imagine fleeing your country, leaving behind your entire family, to escape ethnic violence and a lack of educational opportunities.

Although this was my reality as a teen, I am now a proud and hard-working American citizen. I speak three languages, work two jobs, and attend Red Rocks Community College to reach my full potential as an American.

Tai Finds Support and Stability

Imagine if, on your 18th birthday, you were left to navigate adulthood without a parent or guardian’s support and guidance? For hundreds of youth, like me, exiting foster care in Colorado each year, this is our reality.

Growing up my wish was simple: to have a stable family. By the time I turned 18, I had lived in 15 different foster homes and instability was a fact of life as I changed schools, switched neighborhoods, and tried to make friends at every turn.   


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