Blog: United Way and Education: The Why Behind The Way


The Why Behind The Way.” It’s United Way of Forsyth County’s 2016 Campaign slogan, but what does it really mean? We recently talked about this in a recent post. Here, we answer why United Way is investing in numerous educational programs across Forsyth County.

Education provides each of us with possibilities – the possibility of learning something new, having inspiring experiences, and finding success in a career. For our community, education leads to a productive labor force, which strengthens local businesses, reduces the burden on taxpayers, and makes Forsyth County an attractive place in which to live and work.

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have made tremendous progress over the years. By working together, this community has become a unique place where education, arts, and innovation are thriving. However, too many of our residents still don’t have the same educational opportunities. A student’s academic performance may be affected by a number of factors such as their home life, diet, language and literacy, and physical and mental health. In schools and programs throughout our community, United Way facilitates solutions to addresses these issues together so each child has the best opportunity to benefit from all the possibilities education can offer.


Increasing Educational Attainment

Almost ten years ago, our community came together to set a goal of reaching a 90% high school graduation rate by 2018. Over those years, United Way of Forsyth County and other community partners, including The Forsyth Promise, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, have worked together to reach this goal.

Now, after nine straight years of increasing graduation rates, we are close to reaching that goal . While we are proud of this accomplishment, it is not our success. The success story is each of those high school graduates who has more opportunities in life because of that diploma.

United Way continues to invest in programs that help students graduate from high school. We also know that academic success doesn’t start in high school, so we are investing in programs that help elementary and middle-schoolers improve their academics.

In this year alone, United Way will invest $12 million in 71 programs across the community. Just in education, we will invest over $3.3 million to increase student achievement and help support our community’s children. This amount includes $1.3 million directly in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. This is in addition to our ongoing support of The Forsyth Promise – a community-wide effort to align all our efforts in education to create greater positive impact. The Forsyth Promise’s vision is that “every child in Forsyth County receives the best education possible and is fully equipped to thrive throughout life.”

At United Way, the money we raise goes right back into this community to help people now – it’s why your donations are so important each and every year. By joining with over 12,000 other United Way supporters, you are showing this community’s enduring commitment to provide each of our neighbors with the opportunity to live a stable and healthy life. Together – United – we are making Forsyth County a better place. And at the most fundamental level, your donations are changing peoples’ lives.

That’s the Why Behind the Way.

 Donate to support United Way and help our neighbors live better and stronger lives