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A Transformative Journey: Elva Mendoza’s Impact Story with United Way of Tucson

Elva Mendoza, a devoted Family Childcare Provider in Tucson for the past 15 years, has seen remarkable changes in her life and business, all thanks to the invaluable support she received from the United Way of Tucson. Elva’s journey with United Way began through the LISC grant aimed at enhancing Early Childhood programs. Overwhelmed by the unfamiliar territory of budgeting and expense reports, Elva found herself fortunate to be paired with a technical assistant provided by United Way. This support played a pivotal role in securing funds that would completely transform the outdoor environment of her childcare facility.

With the funds received, Elva was able to make significant improvements, including the addition of artificial turf, fencing, pavers, and exercise equipment, creating a safe and stimulating space for the children in her care. United Way’s assistance went beyond financial aid, empowering Elva to navigate through uncharted territories and implement positive changes in her childcare business.

But this was just the beginning of Elva’s transformative journey with United Way. Building on the initial connection, she delved into various United Way programs, such as the Empowering Conscious Educators Community of Practice, Digital Literacy courses, Early Childhood Business Solutions, and the Accelerate Quality program. Elva’s eagerness to learn and grow was met with unprecedented support and resources, enabling her to navigate the complexities of business management, digital demands, and strategies for optimal child learning.

In expressing her gratitude, Elva highlighted the holistic support she received from United Way, emphasizing how the organization elevated her from struggling with basic digital tasks to enrolling in online classes to obtain her Child Development Associate Certificate. This newfound confidence and empowerment extended beyond herself; Elva actively involved her daughters in the journey, strengthening their family team.

Living United, for Elva, means everything. As a Hispanic Early Childhood Educator and caregiver, she sees it as a ripple effect—when educators feel supported, they, in turn, provide better support to the families and children they serve. United Way’s resources have made Elva feel like a valuable contributor to the community, breaking barriers and offering opportunities traditionally excluded from her reach.

Elva’s fervent wish is for every Family Childcare Provider to discover the wealth of resources available through United Way. She dreams of educators feeling as empowered and supported as she does, creating a stronger and more knowledgeable community of childcare professionals.

Looking ahead, Elva hopes the momentum in Tucson continues to grow, fostering increased knowledge, capacity, and professionalism. She particularly desires continued inclusion and empowerment for the Spanish-speaking community, ensuring everyone has the tools and support needed to reach their goals. Elva Mendoza’s impact story is a testament to the transformative power of community support, exemplified by the United Way of Tucson.