WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Formed in 2007, the Women’s Leadership Council at United Way of Forsyth County has raised over $2.1 million to improve education in the community.
The council, created under the leadership of Susan Ivey, retired president, chairman and CEO of Reynolds American, was supported through a five-year, $1 million grant from the Reynolds American Foundation.
That grant provided matching dollars for women who agreed to increase their giving to United Way to $1,000 or more a year.
The council has enlisted over 875 women and is focused on improving the high-school graduation rate by 2018 to 90 percent from 71 percent.
The council funds programs in middle schools in Forsyth County, including Philo Magnet Academy, Mineral Springs Middle School, and East Forsyth School.
Each school participates in tutoring for students, family engagement, and summer success academies.
At Philo Magnet Academy, for example, the number of students passing the end-of-grade math test has grown 137 percent since 2008, while the number of students passing the end-of-grade reading test has grown 115 percent.