Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2014) – Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the nation’s largest teen-serving organization, announce a groundbreaking five-year partnership to support teens on their path to graduate from high school; ready for a successful future. As part of the new commitment, the Taco Bell Foundation expects to provide a $30 million, multi-year grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The partnership seeks to create a stronger generation of future leaders by providing critical resources that will inspire and enable teens to graduate from high school and unlock opportunities for college and jobs they may have only dreamed possible.
“Our founder Glen Bell once said, ‘the best ideas are often the most simple.’ We started Taco Bell Foundation for Teens in 1992 with a simple goal in mind: to help teens,” said Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell and chairman of the Foundation. “Teens are our customers and our employees; they are our family and friends, and their success is our success. Taco Bell believes in teens, and we know that cultivating their skills, creativity and vibrancy is crucially important in setting all of our communities up for the future. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the largest teen serving organization with a footprint similar to ours, and it only makes sense for us to partner to ensure many more teens across the nation are empowered to reach their full potential.”
According to Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2013 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. Research shows that those who earn a high school diploma are more likely than dropouts to find a job and less likely to live in poverty and suffer from poor health.
“It is clear that there is a gap between graduation expectations and achievement among teens,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Through the continued support and unwavering commitment from the Taco Bell Foundation, this partnership will allow us to empower our nation’s young people with the tools, resources and mentors to help them on their path to a great future. Taco Bell is the ideal partner when it comes to teen programming. They are in the communities where teens live, work and play; they are relevant to today’s youth, and they truly understand how to engage them.”
By 2018, the partnership will provide resources to nearly all 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs, with a goal of helping more than half a million teens stay on track to graduate. This represents a 13 percent improvement over current national graduation trends and can produce approximately $14 billion in economic impact on our nation.
For nearly two decades, Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have coupled their commitments to meet teens where they are in order to make a difference in their lives. This new partnership 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; and
- Attend career preparation and course planning sessions.
Through the partnership, a unique college scholarship service for teen Club members will be established to reduce financial barriers by providing access to $83 million in scholarship and financial aid opportunities over the next five years.
This new partnership’s bold goal to provide $30 million represents the largest gift to Boys & Girls Clubs in the organization’s 108-year history.
About Taco Bell ® Foundation for Teens™
Taco Bell Foundation Inc., also known as Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation committed to inspiring and enabling America’s teens to graduate from high school and achieve más through its programs, partnerships, and direct financial assistance. Since 1992, the Foundation has served over 2 million teens in 6,000 communities across the country where Taco Bell restaurants have a presence. Through the support of our customers, franchisees, employees and vendor-partners over the last 20 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $45 million in grants and scholarships focused on education and career readiness. For more information on the Foundation and its commitment to teens – Taco Bell team members, friends and future leaders – visit tacobellforteens.org, and find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TacoBell4Teens.
About Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, gourmet- inspired Cantina Bell® Menu and lower calorie Fresco Menu. The company encourages customers to “Live Más,” both through its food and in ways such as its Feed The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 36 million customers every week.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
 Rumberger, R. W. (2011). Dropping out: Why students drop out of high school and what can be done about it. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.