Over the course of two decades, Allison Dwyer has utilized her talents and voice to fiercely advocate for our community. As a speech pathologist and mom of four, Allison has always felt called to improve the lives of young children and their families, and here at United Way for Greater Austin, we’ve seen her do just that.
“When I came to Austin, I started to look around to see what the landscape here was like. I was raising my own kids, but every now and again I would get a little passion and fire to see what was going on out there,” Allison said. “I found Success By 6 back in the early 2000s. I called and spoke with someone who was working at United Way, and we talked for a long time. The mission really resonated with me.”
In addition to leading some advocacy efforts for Success By 6, Allison became involved with the early language coaching program at United Way for two years. Early Language Coaches are placed for approximately nine months in child care center classrooms serving children ages 3-5 in small group settings or one-on-one. Through the program, Allison ensured the children at the Bright Beginnings Child Care Center were provided with engaging, age-appropriate material to nurture their skills to help reach development milestones.
“It was nice to be able to go into the classroom with my speech pathology background and see how I could assist the children and teachers,” Allison said.
Parallel to becoming an Early Language Coach, Allison also joined the Executive Committee for one of United Way for Greater Austin’s Donor Networks – Women United. Women United is a network committed to creating a powerful, female-driven philanthropic force to improve early childhood education in Greater Austin. In Austin, Women United supports United Way’s early childhood education initiatives, known collectively as Success By 6, to ensure all children have a strong foundation for learning and life.
“I wanted to be a liaison to other women in my neighborhood. I wanted to help them see what was going on with our community and our neighbors in need,” Allison said. “There is so much more we can do right here. Because I believe so strongly in early childhood, it just made sense.”
Allison also participated in the most recent Early Childhood Advocacy Day at the Texas State Capitol. On March 27, a group visited the State Capitol to speak about our early childhood work with local and state representatives on behalf of United Way for Greater Austin.
“United Way opens the door for advocacy opportunities. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t know how to go about doing it,” Allison said. “United Way provides a way to directly work with them. If you’re truly interested in truly eradicating poverty, United Way is where you need to be involved.”
Thank you, Allison, for your dedication and support to the early childhood community. You and awesome advocates like you make the work we do possible.
“As a Women United Executive Committee leader, Allison brings her heart, passion, and experience working with Bright Beginnings child development center to every project, conversation, and effort to build resources for our early childhood work. We are so grateful for her engagement and recruitment of new Women United members this past year!”
-Michele Scherz, Sr. Director of Donor Relations
United Way for Greater Austin