A Mighty Change Maker

A Mighty Change Maker

Elevate Phoenix has joined Valley of the Sun United Way and a coalition of other nonprofit organizations as a partner in MC2026, United Way’s new five-year plan to create mighty change in Maricopa County.


Together, Elevate Phoenix, United Way and other MC2026 partners will implement vital strategies to tackle bold goals which focus on creating solutions for the community’s most pressing needs.

Specifically, this grant will allow Elevate Phoenix to focus on enhancing our reading and educational success program which is designed to improve the literacy skills and academic achievement of low income, at-risk youth. Elevate will serve 4,000 youth, attending schools throughout South Phoenix and Maryvale.

The support of the United Way will help Elevate Phoenix reach remarkable results. Elevate anticipates:

  • That 95% of these youth will show an increase in their academic knowledge and skills, as well as improve their reading comprehension by a minimum of 10%.

  • At least 90% of these students will demonstrate improved character skills as a result of working through the life skills-based reading curriculum, while 98% will improve their performance in school standardized testing.

  • Our past experience shows that 98% of youth exposed to this program graduate and 95% enroll in post-secondary education.

Elevate Phoenix is extremely grateful to be a recipient of this grant. This will enable us to continue to fill in the gaps where students are in need of extra academic, social & emotional support. We are proud to be alongside others in joint service to the community as we look forward to seeing Mighty Change in our future leaders for years to come!

Our staff and teacher-mentors will share a life skills-based accredited reading curriculum, train high school students to conduct an early grade reading program for elementary students, provide tutoring and homework assistance and help motivate children to learn and overcome barriers by having teacher-mentors available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Dalila A. Gamper

Executive Director

Over the past year, Valley of the Sun United Way engaged more than 1,000 community members through three communitywide surveys, 18 virtual town hall sessions and 24 deep-dive focus groups in an unprecedented effort to identify Maricopa County’s most pressing needs. The community-centered planning process led to the four key areas of focus for its new Mighty Change 2026 (MC2026) plan: health, housing and homelessness, education and workforce development. Woven into each of the plan’s strategies is a focus on diversity, equity, access and inclusion.

Rob Podlogar, Chief Development and Community Engagement Officer at Valley of the Sun United Way, said United Way listened to the community to develop the MC2026 goals and strategies, and saw opportunities for nonprofit, corporate, community, and government partners to work together to achieve those goals.

“We are excited to bring together and support this group of incredible partners to move the needle. By working together, we will create the mighty change needed so every person in our community has the opportunity to succeed.”