Why So Few?

Closing The STEM Gender Gap

On February 24, Women United brought together a panel of community members to discuss their perspectives on how we, as a community, can help expose girls to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and encourage those who are interested to follow their hearts and minds. 


Adrian Felts, Operatations Manager, Battelle; Director, Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair


Joan Vienvenue, PhD, Director, Applied Research Institute, University of Virginia

Mary Stelow, Charlottesville High School Junior; Robotics Innovator; Member, Best All-round Club of Nerds (BACON)

Paula White, Gifted Resource Teacher, Albemarle County Public Schools; Founder, Girls' Geek Day Program

The event began with a video introduction of the "Like a Girl" campaign ad and excerpts from the WTJU Radio interview with panelist and Girls Geek Day Founder, Paula White, followed by an introduction to our topic and Panelists by Moderator, Adrian Felts.

Panelists, who represented three very different aspects of involvement in STEM, were each granted a few minutes to introduce themselves to the audience, giving a brief overview on their own journey as a female involved in STEM fields.  Following introductions the audience was given a chance to ask questions to our panelists and exciting, information-rich discussion quickly ensued.   

If you are interested in learning more about STEM opportunities in our community and on-line download the STEM Resource sheet from the event HERE or contact panelist Paula White at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  Tech-Girls.com Founder, Kim Wilkens at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2014 Grant Award Recipients Announced

On Friday, November 21, Women United was thrilled to announce our 2014 Human Services Grant Award Recipients! This year we awarded two $22,500 grants to the following organizations:

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Blue Ridge matches children ages 6 through 18 facing adversity with professionally supported 1-to-1 adult mentors that change their lives for the better.  They will use their $22,500 grant to recruit mentors, conduct background checks on volunteers, provide training to support monthly group activities and conduct monthly support calls to volunteers, children and their family members.  BBBS currently has over 150 children waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister and this money will help match children with mentors in the year 2015.

ReadyKids (formerly Children, Youth and Family Services, CYFS) has served the the Charlottesville area for over 90 years. Their various programs are focused on giving kids the chance to reach their full potential by contributing to their own and the community's success.  ReadyKids! will use their $22,500 grant to support 104 low-income individuals, primarily mothers and their children, to participate in their year-long ParentingMobile program in the Southwood neighborhood.  The ParentingMobile is a free early learning playgroup that provides a preschool-like learning experience for families.

Read more: 2014 Grant Award Recipients Announced

Community Counts

Women United Membership Co-Chair, Kim Martin, was invited to sit down with Charlottesville Newsplex's Bo Sykes to discuss our February 24th "Why So Few: Closing the STEM Gender Gap" event.  CLICK HERE to watch Kim and Bo on the VNB Community Counts segment. 

The Missing Voice on Gender Equality:

Men Speak Up!

On February 20, 2014 Women United brought together an all-male panel of local business leaders to discuss their perspectives as men in a gender-unequal society and what they, as men, can do about it.

Read more: The Missing Voice on Gender Equality:

Our 2013 Grant Semi-Finalists


On May 6, members of Women United gathered to hear from 5 non-profits hoping to receive one of our 2013 Human Service Grant Awards. This year, we are awarding two grants at $20,000 each. Our 2013 Grant Semi-Finalists include:

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank - The Food Bank has created a Family BackPack Program to alleviate child food insecurity at the household level. Children receiving free and reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program have an increased risk of hunger on weekends or over school holidays. This initiative aims to send a backpack full of healthy foods home with each eligible child every weekend and holiday. A $20,000 grant from Women United would fund the Family BackPack Program for 2 years at Yancey Elementary, where 61.9% of families live between 0-185% of the federal poverty level.

Children, Youth & Family Services - CYFS hopes to use a Women United grant to help fund their ParentingMobile, a fully-equipped mobile classroom bringing parenting education, support and early learning playgroups to low income neighborhoods in Charlottesville and Albemarle that are isolated by poverty, language and cultural barriers. The ParentingMobile is staffed by CYFS Parent Educators and community volunteers who bring structured weekly on-site playgroups with tailored curricula to support increased family participation and meet the unique needs of the children in each neighborhood it serves, including Parks Edge, Friendship Court, Blue Ridge Commons and Southwood.

Read more: Our 2013 Grant Semi-Finalists

Page 4 of 6