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Upromise 'Ten Friends' Initiative Helps Disadvantaged Children Pay for College

Submitted by: Upromise, Inc

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Feb 11, 2002 – 11:00 PM EST

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and The Steppingstone Foundation Join Program To Support Boston-Area Students

Feb. 11 /CSRwire/ - Today Upromise, Inc. announced that two Boston-area non-profit organizations--Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) and The Steppingstone Foundation --are charter members of the company's new "Ten Friends" initiative. Building on its successful college savings service, Upromise launched Ten Friends to enable local non-profit organizations to invite their supporters and the general public to join Upromise and dedicate all or a portion of their savings to a scholarship fund for the students they support. Now, anyone can help fund a college education for young scholars who are participants in BGCB and/or Steppingstone programs. "Ten Friends" reflects Upromise's goal of bringing 10 adults together for every child the initiative reaches. Additional non-profit partners will be announced in upcoming months.

"We are excited to see the power of Upromise put to use where it is needed the most," said George Bell, CEO of Upromise. "We're committed to recruiting thousands of members to help support aspiring college students in the Boston-area and soon nationwide. This initiative has enormous potential for helping underprivileged children realize the dream of college."

A New Twist on a Successful College Savings Program

Traditionally, individuals enroll in Upromise to support their college-bound children, grandchildren or family friends. Upromise members earn contributions through everyday purchases from Upromise contributing companies (including AT&T, Citibank, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, General Motors, and McDonald's). Upromise savings are automatically tracked and deposited to a member's Upromise account. Ten Friends works just like the traditional Upromise college savings service. Once a non-profit organization (like BGCB or Steppingstone) joins Upromise, anyone who enrolls in Upromise can elect to have a portion of his or her savings allocated for the benefit of students participating in the organizations' programs.

Two Boston Organizations Lead the Charge

Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) and The Steppingstone Foundation are the first organizations to join Ten Friends. Now that BGCB and Steppingstone have Upromise accounts, supporters of either organization can become Upromise members and contribute to their respective college scholarship funds. BGCB and Steppingstone will identify appropriate students and distribute the scholarship funds earned through Upromise on an ongoing basis and at their sole discretion.

BGCB's mission is to help boys and girls, generally from disadvantaged circumstances, develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. To achieve this, the organization offers a variety of program activities and support services designed to assist in the educational, emotional, physical and social development of 6-to-18 year olds, without regard to social, racial, ethnic, or religious background. By participating in the Ten Friends initiative, BGCB can now offer college scholarships for deserving beneficiaries. BGCB's five Clubhouses will each present a "Scholar of the Year" award to a deserving high-school senior.

"Education programs at BGCB form the foundation of our efforts to prepare youth for productive and responsible lives, and include tutoring for elementary- and middle-school kids and college prep services for high-schoolers," said Linda Whitlock, president and CEO of BGCB. "Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is very pleased to join Upromise so that we can further promote children's academic success and strengthen their opportunities for the future."

Steppingstone prepares inner-city fifth- and sixth-graders to get into and succeed at top independent and public exam schools in Boston and Philadelphia. Steppingstone Scholars complete an intensive 14-month academic program that ensures a successful transition, both academic and social, through high school and into college. By instilling in its Scholars the knowledge that hard work in school opens infinite opportunities, Steppingstone has become an instrument of change for students in need. Last year, 90 percent of Steppingstone's high school seniors went on to college. The Upromise contributions will initially fund students who will enter high school as the class of 2008.

"This partnership makes sense because Steppingstone gives students the tools and support to prepare them for college, and contributions earned through Upromise help the students pay for it," says Michael Danziger, co-founder and president of The Steppingstone Foundation. "We are thrilled to be a charter member of Upromise's Ten Friends program, as contributions to our new Upromise college savings account will help offset the financial challenges that families face."

General information about Upromise is available at www.upromise.com. Those who are interested in supporting BGCB through the Ten Friends initiative can visit www.upromise.com/bgcb. Those who are interested in supporting Steppingstone can visit www.upromise.com/steppingstone. Both Web sites contain information about the respective non-profit organizations and how individuals can help send underprivileged students to college. Non-profit organizations interested in setting up their own Ten Friends account should contact tenfriends@upromise.com.

Enrollment is free, and Upromise members do not have to carry a special membership card. Member contributions to a Ten Friends non-profit organization are tax-deductible.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

Since 1893, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) has enabled at-risk youth from disadvantaged circumstances to mature into productive, caring and responsible adults. BGCB serves 8,000 young people in its five clubhouses in Charlestown, Chelsea, Dorchester, Roxbury and South Boston, and through joint education and early intervention programs with the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Police Department. Programs are centered around education; technology; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; life skills; and leadership development. The Clubs provide urban children and teens with a safe, secure environment that addresses their educational, social and emotional needs, and gives them opportunities to interact with caring adult role models. Club membership costs from $5 to $10 per year. BGCB is located at 50 Congress Street, Suite 730, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109, and is on the web at: www.bgcb.org.

About The Steppingstone Foundation

Founded in 1990, The Steppingstone Foundation is a non-profit organization that develops and runs educational programs for children underserved in today's society. Through The Steppingstone Academy in Boston and The Steppingstone Scholars Program in Philadelphia, the organization provides focused academic environments and goals to dedicated, hard-working schoolchildren. With offices in both cities, the 27-employee organization serves more than 500 inner-city students in grades six through 12 and in college annually. The organization is privately funded and charges no tuition. For additional information, please visit the Steppingstone Web site at http://www.tsf.org.

About Upromise, Inc.

Upromise, Inc. helps families save more for college. Through Upromise, America's leading companies contribute a portion of each family's spending with them into a Upromise account. Upromise's contributing companies include America Online, AT&T, CVS/pharmacy, ExxonMobil, General Motors, McDonald's(R), Toys"R"Us, Borders Books & Music(R), Century 21(R), Coldwell Banker(R), Countrywide Home Loans, ERA(R), Staples, Starwood Hotels, Waldenbooks(R), Avis(R), more than 100 online shopping sites, and 7,000 restaurants through the iDine program. Members can also save when they use the Citi(R) Upromise(TM) card. The Upromise Grocery service, available now in New England and nationally in April 2002, helps families save when they purchase thousands of items at participating grocers. The free Upromise service also makes it easy for families to invest their savings in tax-advantaged 529 college savings accounts managed by Salomon Smith Barney or Fidelity Investments. Brokerage services are provided through Upromise Investments, Inc., member NASD/SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Upromise, Inc. Upromise is located in Brookline, Mass. For more information, visit www.upromise.com or call 617/582-1400.

For more information, please contact:

Jim Doyle Upromise, Inc.
Phone: (617) 582-1518

 

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