Irvine, Calif. July 18, 2013 –In just three weeks, Taco Bell® customers nationwide contributed more than $4.6 million through $1 donations made in close to 5,000 participating restaurants. As part of its fifth annual national fundraiser, customer donations increased by 40 percent over last year, and will enable the restaurant chain’s charitable foundation, the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™, to provide educational and job training support to more than 1 million teens in communities across the country.
Just as communities across the nation are celebrating the accomplishments of the most recent class of graduating seniors, a new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that nearly 30 percent of students will not graduate from high school this year. For over 20 years, Taco Bell has dedicated its efforts to identifying and addressing the issues that teens face as they navigate the path to graduation and rally its own franchisees, local teen organizations and community members to address and close this gap.
”Taco Bell is uniquely positioned to support teens – our customers, employees and future leaders – through our network of nearly 400 franchisees and tens of thousands of team members dedicated to this cause,” said Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell Corp. (“Taco Bell®”) and chairman of the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™. “We are proud to leverage our restaurants to mobilize around the need to address the challenges teens face as they near graduation and achieve their personal best – or ‘más.’ We are overwhelmed at the positive response to this year’s national fundraiser and are grateful to all involved.”
The Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™, although it operates nationally, is committed to giving back to the local communities where Taco Bell® customers live, work and play, through core programs, such as Graduate for Más™, partnerships with like-minded community organizations, and direct financial assistance to teens in need.
The impact is best demonstrated by the teens themselves:
My attitude has dramatically changed since last year. I used to never do my school work .After participating in the Leadership Conference sponsored by Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, I was more inspired to get my work done and graduate high school.” – Kim, Colorado
“Growing up with spinal disease and visual impairments, I was ridiculed for being different. Thanks to the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, I received help to develop leadership skills and self-esteem – now I’m making A’s and B’s in school!” – Cameron, Texas
“In my senior year at Marshall, I almost didn’t graduate because of family troubles and everything seemed like too much. Taco Bell Foundation for Teens helped me get my school work back on track so I could graduate.” – Halley, Oregon
The Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ strives to give teens a voice in the conversation about education and academic success. The Foundation recently amplified teen voices through its Times Square Yearbook Project, a program co-created with Get Schooled that allowed teens see their personal commitment to graduate, along with their photo, in lights in Times Square. More than 1,000 students participated in the first-time initiative, with Taco Bell® donating $100 to its Foundation for each photo upload.
For more information onTaco Bell® and its Foundation, visit tacobell.com and tacobellforteens.org.
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 achieve más through its programs, partnerships, and direct financial assistance. Every year, the Foundation serves more than 100,000 teens in more than 180 communities across the country and awards more than 300 grants and scholarships focused on education and career preparedness. Since 1992, the Foundation has awarded more than $42 million in support of more than 1,000 teen-serving organizations in the U.S. through customer, franchisee, employee and vendor-partner donations.