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Strive is a coaching initiative designed to help women reach a higher level of economic stability. Over the course of 12 to 18 months, Strive participants focus on making strides in the areas of housing and employment, to ultimately realize greater financial stability, stronger support systems, increased financial security and new job prospects. Following the successful completion of the program, participants will be able to move on to Aspire, the pilot from which Strive was born, for further progress toward self-sufficiency, if they so choose. Aspire connects women with trained mentors, who guide and encourage them to think big and navigate obstacles as they invest in their family’s future. Over the course of three years, Aspire participants realize their aspirations are within reach as they achieve goals and shift their lives from surviving to thriving. These groundbreaking initiatives are led by the passionate, forward-thinking leaders of Women United and are made possible because of the generous support of local donors and partners:
of families are not able to achieve self-sufficiency
of families can’t cover the costs of basic needs
of families earn too much to qualify for help but can’t pay for basic needs


Aspire and Strive address all areas of a person’s life holistically (family life, health, finance, education and career), while the flexible, personalized goal-setting values participants’ unique aspirations. You may be eligible to participate if you :
  • Are a woman with at least one child under 18 in the home
  • Are earning some income or are enrolled in a training program
  • Have stable housing
  • Live in Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk or Virginia Beach
  • Are motivated to participate and embrace change
To apply, two forms must be submitted:
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We’re trusted by 9,8750 donors

Both forms should have as much information as possible in order to best capture the prospective participant’s readiness. Once this information is received, a team member may call the prospective participant and/or the reference for a more in-depth screening in order to determine eligibility and program fit.

How Aspire & Strive Work


Supporting women as they navigate obstacles, find stability and dream big so they can take care of their families.


All mentors complete training so they understand the best ways to guide participants.


Builds foundational skills such as the ability to focus, plan, problem solve and make decisions.


Participants get support in all aspects of their lives, including family life, health, finance, education and career.


As participants accomplish their goals, they can earn rewards and incentives.


No one gets to economic independence alone. Personal and professional networks provide crucial support and leverage for the journey.

Our Results

Annual income increase
average increase in assets
average decrease in debt