Taco Bell Awards $150,000 to Support Teens throughout Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis
During its Graduate to Go High School Tour stop in Indianapolis, Taco Bell Foundation for Teens (TBFT) kicked off the 2012-2013 school year by announcing a $150,000 gift to Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. With these funds, the Indianapolis Clubs will establish a program to address public high school dropout rates. More than 500 teens will now have access to leadership development and career exploration programs, college tours and full-time AmeriCorps counselors to aid in testing and college application preparation.
“In the spirit of our commitment to Indy teens who are not only our customers, but are also our current employees and future leaders, Taco Bell is addressing their needs and challenges head on,” said Charlie Brown, Indianapolis Taco Bell franchisee. “The statistics are clear; Indianapolis teens are dealing with barriers that are keeping them from completing their high school careers. We are partnering with our local Boys & Girls Clubs on this important program because we understand the importance of education for not only the teens and their families, but also our community as a whole.”
Every 26 seconds a U.S. teen drops out of high school. In Indianapolis Public Schools, 48 percent of students graduated on time in 2009. However in just two years, the graduation rate has improved to 64.6 percent with support from the school district and community partners like Boys & Girls Clubs.
TBFT’s gift will help continue this momentum and afford four local Boys & Girls Clubs the resources to mentor and motivate students to stay in high school and consider career and college options.
“We are grateful to be able to continue our partnership with Taco Bell and establish a new program that will make such a critical impact on the children and families of our community,” said Rick Whitten, executive director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. “These students will become the next generation of leaders, and it is important that they have the best opportunities to positively shape their futures.”
TBFT and local Taco Bell restaurants in Indianapolis have raised more than $600,000 since 2003 through the Taco Bell Graduate to Go national fundraising effort. The funds have supported various local Boys & Girls Clubs programs that address barriers to high school graduation. The Foundation also established a multi-year partnership with the Indianapolis Colts “Touchdown for Teens” fundraiser, through which Taco Bell donates $100 for every touchdown the Colts score during the football season. In addition, Taco Bell locations in Indianapolis, Evansville and Terre Haute sell paper horseshoes and donate 100 percent of the net proceeds to various Boys & Girls Clubs in Central Indiana.