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Taco Bell Foundation for Teens Awards $1.8 Million to Teen Serving Organizations Fighting America's High School Drop-Out Crisis

To Combat Lower Graduation Rates, The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens Steps Up Local Support of 250 Real World Experiences at Boys & Girls Clubs

Published 04-27-10

Submitted by Taco Bell

/PRNewswire/ - Sounding the alarm bell about America's high school drop-out epidemic, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, will distribute $1.8 million to 250 Boys & Girls Clubs and youth-serving organizations across the country this month to fund real world experience programs that help teens stay in school and graduate towards a better life.

The grants, awarded by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, will allow an estimated 30,000 teens to experience real-world activities that will spur them to stay engaged in their communities and inspire them to remain in school, working towards graduation. Examples include:

  • The Greater Sacramento Boys & Girls Club's K.A.P.E.R.S (Kitchen Assistants Pursuing Excellence, Rewards and Service to Community) program showcases the restaurant industry by providing teens with kitchen operations and management training.

  • In Medford, Ore., S.O.C.K.S (Serving Our Community Keystone Style) allows Boys & Girls Club teens to plan service projects in conjunction with other community agencies.

  • In Harrisburg, Pa., Harford County Boys & Girls Club teens have the opportunity to meet and shadow a professional role model on a weekly basis to gain a better understanding about a profession they may be interested in pursuing after graduation.

"We are honored to be recognized by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens for our unremitting commitment to teen graduation and success," said Cyndi Court, Executive Vice President of Resource Development and Marketing for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "With the help of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and programs like ours, teens are able to gain the type of real-world experience that ultimately helps inspire them to stay committed to earn their high school degree and dream big."

Since 1995, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and its supporting programs have helped more than 500,000 teens stay in school and on the path to graduation through its national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

"The teen graduation crisis is a major hurdle for America as we strive to remain an innovative and powerful global leader," said Bob Fulmer, executive director of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. "The vital partnerships and programs we are funding today allow Taco Bell to help teens build a foundation for a future success through the vehicle of graduation."

Taco Bell Foundation for Teens raises funds through the generosity of Taco Bell customers and the support of Taco Bell Corp., its employees, franchisees and partners. Canisters are placed in participating restaurants so patrons can support teen programs by donating their spare change. Additionally, Taco Bell franchisees have developed fundraising and volunteer opportunities within their own communities to support local teen programs. On April 23, 2009, participating Taco Bell® restaurants across the country conducted the first-ever nationwide fundraiser to support Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, donating 15 percent of gross sales that day, totaling $1.8 million.

About Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell Corp. ("Taco Bell"), a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain. Taco Bell serves tacos, burritos, signature quesadillas, Grilled Stuft Burritos, nachos, and other specialty items such as Crunchwrap Supreme®, in addition to the 79-89-99 WHY PAY MORE®! Value Menu. Taco Bell serves more than 36.8 million consumers each week in nearly 5,600 restaurants in the U.S.

About the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens
The Taco Bell Foundation, Inc., also known as the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens (TBFT), a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation, is committed to addressing the growing number of high school dropouts in the U.S. by providing at-risk youth with mentors and real-world experiences that will motivate them to stay in school and achieve more in life. Since 1995, TBFT has donated more than $28 million to support teen programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other teen-serving organizations with the help of on-going customer, franchisee and employee donations. For more information about TBFT, visit

About Boys & Girls Club of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has enabled young people, especially those who need Clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve more than 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

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