After many conversations with local organizations and community leaders, United Way of Story County (UWSC) found that a lack of financial literacy was a major obstacle for women trying to achieve self-sufficiency. To remedy this problem, UWSC launched Women with Initiative, a program designed to provide financial education and counseling to at-risk and elderly women in a safe and non-threatening environment. UWSC has partnered with Iowa State University Extension to create classes on multiple topics, including budgeting, evaluating loans and understanding credit. In addition, the program will pair participants with community mentors to help the women apply new skills. Once women have completed the program, they will also have the chance to apply for four scholarships, which will enable them to continue their education.