Fighting America's High School Dropout Crisis, Local Taco Bell Restaurants Award More Than $30,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs in Middle Tennessee

Nashville, TN, April 12, 2012 --( More than $30,000 was awarded to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens which supported the 2012 Taco Bell Keystone College Tour. Encouraging Middle Tennessee teens stay in school and graduate, Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee offered approximately 40 teens the opportunity to participate through the "Graduate to Go" experience grant.

With visits to Asbury University, the University of Kentucky, Indiana University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Martin University, University of Notre Dame, University of Chicago & University of Illinois at Chicago, teens from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County, had a full schedule of touring college campuses, attending admissions presentations, meeting University staff and more. The group also experienced the “Windy City” in style with excursions to Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park Zoo, DuSable Museum and Navy Pier.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens for our long-time commitment to high school graduation and long-term success among teens,” said Darryl Griffin, Area Vice President of Davidson County. “It’s because of partnerships like this that we are able to offer career, community and educational experiences that inspire our teen members to stay committed to earning their high school degree and move onto great things in life.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee is one of more than 250 organizations nationwide that received a portion of $2.7 million granted by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. Graduate To Go™ is a long-term effort, launched by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, to raise awareness of the high-school dropout crisis and encourage teens to get their diploma. The initiative funds real-world experiences, such as job training and college preparation, proven to motivate teens to stay in school. Funds were raised through local Taco Bell restaurant owners and Taco Bell customers.

By the Numbers America’s high school dropout rates are staggering, with one student dropping out of high school every 26 seconds. More than 30 percent of U.S. teens and up to 50 percent of Latinos and African Americans fail to graduate with their class. Dropouts are more likely than high school graduates to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty, in prison, or on public assistance.**

“The teen graduation crisis is a major hurdle for America as we strive to remain an innovative and powerful global leader,” said Shawn Winkler, Senior Manager 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.”

About the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens

The Taco Bell Foundation, Inc., dba 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 teens with mentors and real-world experiences that motivate them to stay in school, graduate and achieve more in life. Since 1995, TBFT has donated more than $30 million to support teen programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other teen-serving organizations. TBFT has done this with the help of ongoing customer, franchisee and employee donations. For more information about TBFT, visit

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 Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee

Founded in 1903, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) exist to provide boys and girls ages 6 to 18 with a safe, positive place to learn, grow and succeed. The Clubs, which have become a total life center for many at-risk youth, offer five nationally recognized programs - Character & Leadership Development, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, The Arts & Sports & Recreation. Serving over 2,500 youth per year, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee has four locations in Davidson and Williamson counties and are a proud part of the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America organization. Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency which offers services without discrimination of any kind. For more information, please visit: /


Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee
Julia Elrod




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