The grant to Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley was part of a new, five-year partnership between the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ and Boys & Girls Clubs of America that is expected to raise $30 million to support more teenagers and improve America’s high school graduation rate. On April 8, 2014, the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ and Boys & Girls Clubs of America unveiled their groundbreaking partnership, which represents the largest such partnership to support teens in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ 108-year history. The effort comes at a critical time when, according to Education Week’s Diplomas Count report, a projected 1 million students failed to graduate with their class in 2013 and one in four American students will not graduate on time.
“Taco Bell’s legacy is largely tied to teen empowerment. Our founder Glen Bell actually discovered his passion for food in his youth while helping his family farm during the Great Depression,” said Regina Borda, managing director of the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™. “Over the years, Taco Bell has witnessed our scholarship recipients, our teen customers and our teen employees truly achieve más. The partnership between the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ and Boys & Girls Clubs of America is an extension of our steadfast commitment to see as many teens as possible graduate and go on to do great things.”
Locally, the partnership with the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ will help rising eighth and ninth graders transition into high school with the tools and mindset needed to excel in high school, and beyond. Teens will have new opportunities to:
- Participate in high school workshops and coaching programs
- Gain access to an online community for peer support
- Meet with mentors in their local area
- Learn about the college experience with visits to trade schools, colleges and universities across the country
- Attend career preparation and course planning sessions.
A National Scholarship Task Force also will be established to identify and secure $83 million in scholarship and financial aid opportunities over the next five years for all teen Boys & Girls Club members.
By 2018, the partnership will provide resources to nearly all 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs sites, with a goal of helping more than half a million teens stay on track to graduate, which will represent a 13 percent improvement over current national graduation trends and can produce approximately $14 billion in economic impact for the nation.
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