Arizona Teens Can Create Change for Women and Girls

Unidas Teen Philanthropy and Leadership Program Now Enrolling for Statewide Cohort 

Unidas the award-winning after-school program from the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona, is now enrolling for its new statewide chapter.   

Young women and gender-expansive individuals ages 14-18 interested in philanthropy and social justice are encouraged to apply for the fall semester. This will be the second chapter and welcomes participants from across the state. The long-standing Tucson-based chapter will continue to operate locally, and is also accepting applications for the fall semester.  

Since the program was created in 2002, Unidas has reached over 200 teens and supported more than thirty organizations. Unidas creates a safe space for high schoolers to learn about leadership, philanthropy, and social justice issues by giving participating teens the opportunity to award grants to nonprofit organizations that work to improve the quality of life for women and girls in Arizona.   

Program participant and recent high school graduate Ollie Larkin-Smith shared that for them, Unidas was a safe space to build community and empathy while working as a group to create positive change. “I will hold a very special place in my heart for Unidas. I will take the friendships and knowledge that I have gained in philanthropy and social justice and look at the world in a more accepting and inclusive light,” said Larkin-Smith.  

Over the course of the upcoming semester, teens will meet virtually once a week as a group where they will research and discuss social justice issues facing women and girls in their community to determine a focus area for the work they want to support with funding. The teens will learn about and navigate the equitable grantmaking process and select one organization to receive a grant of $5,000. 

“This unique program offers the opportunity for teens to build community, form connections and build lasting friendships with a supportive group of young change-makers. It is such an exciting time for the Unidas program to expand its reach to more teens across the state,” said Brigette Villaseñor, Unidas Program Manager.  

Applications for both chapters for the fall semester of Unidas are accepted through Thursday, August 18, 2022.  

More information and the online application are available at Students can reach out to Unidas Program Manager, Brigette Villaseñor, with questions, to show interest in the program and access help with submitting the application at