"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.