In Press Releases

United Way of the Greater Triangle Partners with HCL to Improve Graduation Rates among Girls in the Triangle

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK (February 17, 2014) United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) today announced a new partnership with HCL Technologies, a leading global IT services company to develop a social service program called GirlSTRIDE (Girls Striving to Reach Ideals in Education).  This project will focus on increasing graduation rates for young women and girls aged 11-19. It is a comprehensive 12-month program that includes academic instruction, tutoring, community service, mentoring, topical discussions, college tours, computer access for families, and parental engagement.

“We would like to thank HCL for helping us develop this important program,” said Mack Koonce, CEO and President of UWGT. “Their commitment to education and the development of young women matches that of our own. GirlSTRIDE will improve graduation rates by assisting local girls improve their academic performance, which in turn will foster opportunities for them and create a foundation for a stronger community.”

GirlSTRIDE will seek to develop positive attitudes towards school, education and learning among young women with mentoring and engagement activities by HCL employees throughout the year.

“At HCL, we believe that the investment in girls’ education is pivotal for the growth, welfare, development and well-being of families, society and in turn economies globally,” said Prithvi Shergill, Chief Human Resources Officer, HCL. “In association with United Way, HCL aims to support these girls with their personal, academic and career goals, create opportunities for experiential learning in science, math and technology, which in turn, improves their chances of professional success.”

This project builds upon the successes of a long standing partnership in India and the mutual goal to improve education and bring change through the caring power of communities. United Way and HCL have achieved tremendous success with the Juvenile Home Project in India which aimed to enhance the overall quality of life of children in juvenile homes by providing academic mentoring and emotional support along with arts programs that have significantly improved graduation rates.

GirlSTRIDE also complements the decade-long commitment of UWGT’s Women’s Leadership Council programming that focuses on building leadership skills in girls and young women.

Student U in Durham has been selected as the initial community provider to run this program. Durham County has the lowest graduation rates of any Triangle school system.


About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)

By working with nonprofit partners, corporations, community and county leaders, along with thousands of volunteers and donors, United Way of the Greater Triangle is creating significant community change in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties in North Carolina through an emphasis on achieving specific results and developing lasting solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues. 

Learn more about UWGT’s work at or find out about volunteer opportunities at