Positive Paths Scholarship

Positive Paths was born from the desire to help women in the East Valley of Arizona. They recognized that a gap existed in the East Valley regarding financial security and independence for women and their families. They acknowledged that many women and their families were working very hard in entry-level jobs, seeming self-sufficient, but unable to sustain their financial independence. What if women were assisted through supplemental funding combined with caring, supportive mentors as they increased their earning capacity through education, amplified skill sets, and greater employment prospects? Drawing upon the indomitable will and strength inherent in women working hard to support themselves and their families, they could increase and ensure the financial security and self-sufficiency of families in our community. They recognized that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits – families are healthier, more children complete elementary and high school and continue on to trade school or college, productivity improves, and incomes increase. In short, communities become more resilient, self-sufficient, and securely independent.

Founded in 2014 by a group of forward-thinking East Valley leaders, Positive Paths works tirelessly to remove barriers and obstacles that prevent East Valley women from succeeding. They provide a “life-bridge” for women who face challenges to grow personally and professionally and increase the likelihood of future generations of economic stability.

As of July 2021, Positive Paths distributed more than $223,000 in scholarship funds serving 91 East Valley women and counting. In addition to the distribution of scholarship funds, each woman is provided with one-on-one mentoring. Mentors are professionals, often with experience in the chosen career path of the scholar with whom they are matched.

Scholarships assist individuals in attaining the education that is critical to strengthening family well-being and economic security. Particularly, single mothers typically have less education, lower household incomes, and higher poverty rates than other adults. Given that postsecondary education is associated with higher incomes, better health, and improved educational outcomes among children, increasing college attainment can have far-reaching, multi-generational benefits for families and communities. They can help improve college completion for women, contribute to the growing demand for highly educated workers, increase tax contributions, and reduce public benefits spending (see https://iwpr.org).

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