The Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona has hosted the Unidas program, a leadership development program for teen girls, for more than 15 years. 

Teen girls who want to make a difference in the community and develop their leadership skills are encouraged to apply for an upcoming program hosted by the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona.

Participants in the Unidas program choose a social issue that affects women and girls and explore the topic further over the course of a semester at weekly meetings where they hear from guest speakers or attend different women-centered community events.

At the end of the program the cohort awards a $5,000 grant to a local non-profit doing work in that is related to the issue they've chosen. 

The deadline to apply for the program is Thursday, Dec. 20. Find the application and learn more here

"They learn how to ask thoughtful questions in regards to assessing if an organization is doing good work and if their dollars should go to that organization," says Desiree Maultsby, director of program engagement at the foundation.

Previous awardees include Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse and the Esperanza Dance Project. 

Among the important things girls learn in the program are "that their voices matter and that issues that they feel are important matter," Maultsby says. "And, that they don't have to have extreme wealth in order to make a different in their community and it teaches them that they have a seat at the table to make a decision about how money is spent and toward what end." 

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