COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Two powerhouse organizations are teaming up to help thousands of Ohio youth prepare for college and career success. Leading energy supplier Direct Energy will be a leading sponsor of Power Hour, the Boys & Girls Clubs' after-school academic support program in seven locations across the state. Direct Energy and Boys & Girls Clubs announced the sponsorship today at the Statehouse before an audience of legislators. Direct Energy becomes the Boys & Girls Clubs' first statewide corporate sponsor in Ohio. The company's $100,000 donation over two years will help sustain and expand valuable homework-help programs at seven clubs throughout Ohio. During the Power Hour from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., adult volunteers and staff members give club members extra support to build reading and math skills. In addition to Direct Energy's financial donation, many company employees will become volunteer mentors for club members who range from six to 18 years of age. Approximately 10,000 Ohio youth ages six to 18 will benefit from Direct Energy's investment. "Boys & Girls Clubs are grateful to Direct Energy for the company's generous gift to Power Hour. By creating opportunities for interaction with adult role models, Direct Energy is helping to improve our young people's academic performance and instill confidence, hope and empowerment among the young people we serve," said Rebecca Asmo, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus. Asmo noted that in the areas served by Direct Energy and Boys & Girls Clubs, high school dropout rates can be as high as 50 percent. Rob Comstock, vice president and general manager, Direct Energy Residential, said, "Direct Energy is proud to sponsor the premier youth-serving organizations in Ohio to help young people imagine and realize bright futures, starting with a high school diploma." "We believe that adult mentors can change a child's life. All young people need to be connected with at least one caring adult who creates expectations to graduate from high school, earn a college degree or certificate and make positive choices that build strong minds, bodies and spirits," Comstock told the assembly.