Inspiring Women to Make the World a Better Place

Jennifer Ploskina’s mom raised her to believe that women can do anything. As she watches her own daughter grow up, Jennifer appreciates that lesson more than ever. “Women and mothers shape the future. There are so many women in Pittsburgh struggling to support their children. If we do not come together to care for women in need, we are truly failing the next generation,” she says.

Jennifer grew up in Beaver Falls, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and lived in New England and Philadelphia before returning to Pittsburgh with her family. She always volunteered with United Way and was looking for a way to get involved. After attending the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) wine tasting several years ago, she knew she had to join the group.

Though she loves attending the annual WLC breakfast and wine tasting, Jennifer believes WLC’s hands-on work makes the biggest impact.

While volunteering on a panel about job interviews and resume building at Bethlehem Haven, Jennifer’s eyes were opened to the realities of those in need. “I was there to give advice, but learned so much from these women,” Jennifer said. “They just wanted to improve their situations and make a better life for their children. We are all just one crisis away from being in their shoes.”

Perhaps the most compelling experience for Jennifer was participating in United Way’s three-year funding allocations process. Jennifer listened to presentations, reviewed proposals and talked with staff to determine which agencies could best address the greatest needs with powerful, long-term solutions.

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash in Allegheny County, at, or Alyssa Cholodofsky in Westmoreland County, at