The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has expanded its "Graduate to Go Studios" mentorship program with the unveiling of a multimedia studio at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta's Lawrenceville location.
The site is one of four Studios built at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, and will include year-round film and music projects, as well as job shadowing opportunities for teens.
Nearly one-third of all Georgia students fail to finish high school in four years. In some metro-Atlanta schools, roughly half of students graduate on time. To address the growing need for mentorship, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens in partnership with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, will provide more than $100,000 in funding this year to support the Studio program at metro Atlanta Clubs.
"Academic achievement is critical to building great futures," said Missy Dugan, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. "'The Graduate to Go Studios' program is interactive, memorable and gives our kids a voice. It allows us to build on the passions and dreams our kids already have and provides them with tools and hands-on experiences they can use in the real world."
During the program, the Vampire Diaries' Steven R. McQueen, Zach Roerig and Michael Trevino, along with music Grammy-nominated producer Kevin "Khao" Cates will share personal experiences as industry professionals.
"We cannot afford to ignore the reality that teens in Atlanta and across the nation are struggling to graduate," said Patrick Mulkey, President of the Atlanta Taco Bell Owners Advertising Association Inc. and local franchise owner. "With the addition of the 'Graduate to Go Studio' at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, we are further on our way to empowering local teens to create successful futures."
Indianapolis Boys & Girls Clubs awarded $150K
Also, during its Graduate to Go High School Tour stop in Indianapolis, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens 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."
Read more about cause marketing.