Impact Stories

Monthly Impact Stories

Each month of 2023, United Way GBACC will be highlighting a story from one of our funded partner agencies. Read through these stories to get a better sense of the impact that is being created every day through the support of our community.


Communities in Schools

As February comes to an end, your United Way continues to celebrate programs and efforts to increase accessibility to higher education in honor of Financial Aid Awareness Month. While many people want to pursue higher education, school fees and costs can be overwhelming and the system hard to navigate.

United Way of Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County proudly partners with programs like Communities in Schools, who isTy Eden supporting students in Goose Creek CISD as they journey towards graduation. Communities in Schools provides case management support to students of Goose Creek ISD secondary campuses to help prepare students to become college and career ready. They provide mentoring and interventions in the areas of academic, attendance, behavior and basic needs. They operate on high school campuses, where their site coordinators work to inform and help the students regarding financial aid information by posting on the informational boards or office doors, as well as school announcements and social media pages. Communities in Schools doesn’t just help students with academics, but surrounds them with a community of support, empowering them to achieve not only in school, but in life as well.

United Way has partnered with Communities in Schools through funding, programs like Clothing for Kids, which helps equip schools with new or gently used clothing for students in need, as well as training to help provide support to students and families. This helps Communities in Schools accomplish their mission of surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. 

Ty, a senior at a local high school supported by Communities in Schools, had the opportunity to share what Communities in Schools meant to him.

Ty came to CIS when his family needed support and he was looking for ways to focus more in school. Ty’s family was given resources to access fresh groceries, and through the help of his CIS representative, Ty was able to focus on being the best student he could.

Ty said “If I was without the CIS program, I wouldn’t be at the school I’m still at. I believe I would either be dropped back to my home campus, or I would have already dropped out and went straight to working.”

Through the United Way network created through our funded partners, families are also supported and given a chance at a better life.  Students like Ty are supported each and every day though Communities in Schools. Programs like this give students who, like Ty, would either be struggling to stay in school or be dropping out, a chance to further their education and invest in their future.

“People should know that the program is there to help you on the community side, but they can also be there to help you on the personal side with schooling. They are an all-around amazing program which will continue to push people’s lives in a positive direction.”

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

United Way of Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County proudly partners with programs like Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, who work to bring dreams to life and build a better world. Girls of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges. Girl Scouts leads the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.

Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development experience for girls and the largest girl organization in the world. Girl Scouts' mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, and to make the world a better place. Since 1912, girls have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills, and developed strong core values through Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts is the organization best positioned to help girls develop important leadership skills they need to become successful adults.

Layla Ansari (Middle) posing with members of her discussion panel.
Layla Ansari (Middle) posing with members of her discussion panel.

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council have been funded by United Way of Greater Baytown and Chambers County since 1997. This long-standing partnership has led to greater success at

home, school, and life, and is making a positive, long-lasting impact in the Baytown and Chambers County area. The partnership has been instrumental in delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in the local community. Girls have been able to gain leadership skills, learn about STEM curriculum at a young age, and have discovered what interests them.

The support of United Way has allowed Girl Scouts to place staff resources in the community to extend the benefits of Girl Scouting to all girls. Support from United way has allowed GSSJC to provide financial scholarships to girls in Chambers County who would otherwise not be able to afford to participate. Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council believe that all girls, regardless of their financial status, should have the opportunity to be in Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council helps girls realize they can be the change they want to see in the world. A prime example of this is Layla Ansari.

Layla, a member of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, was disappointed in what she saw in her political leaders, so she decided to make a change by
inspiring girls to become more involved in politics. “I felt I was not represented.” Layla stated. “I saw that women are 51% of the population, but only 24% of the senate,
27% of the House and less than 30% of statewide representatives. There have been 0 female presidents. I wanted to inspire more girls to go into politics.”
Girl Scouts gave her the opportunity to connect with other girls and encouraged her to take action to make a difference.

 Layla created a panel discussion for middle and high school girls, featuring past and current candidates for office, ranging from judges to congresswomen.
Some of the girls told her they had never heard some of these women before. Layla created a card game for the girls about historical female political trailblazers to help them learn more about important female figures. She held a launch party at an independent woman-owned bookstore, and Girl Scouts was able to help her
promote and bring recognition to the game.

We here at your United Way believe that by investing in the next generation of women, you empower girls like Layla on her journey as she strives to lead, thrive, and make the world a better place. By supporting United Way, you are helping us support tomorrow's courage-boosting, confidence-inspiring, character-building, and make-the-world-a-better-place experience.