Junior Achievement Partners With Taco Bell Foundation For Teens To Prepare Teens Across U.S. For Graduation And Workforce

New Partnership Aims to Raise Graduation Rates with Nearly Half a Million Dollar Grant

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Sept. 16, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Junior Achievement USA® and Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™ today announced a new partnership designed to arm high school students with the tools needed to graduate on time and enter the workforce. This collaboration will merge Junior Achievement USA's mission of educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens' commitment to inspire and enable the country's next generation of leaders.

Through this partnership, Junior Achievement USA will receive a $471,000 grant from the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens to expand JA Career Success™, the organization's career exploration and work-readiness skills program. This grant supports 13 Junior Achievement Areas across the country to implement JA Career Success at local high schools. Selected areas include Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Cincinnati, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Columbia, S.C.; El Paso, Texas; Johnstown, Pa.; Lexington, Ky.; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; Medford, Ore.; Salisbury, Md. and Toledo, Ohio. The expanded program is expected to reach additional students through an interactive curriculum that teaches teens how to effectively conduct a job search, respond best to common interview questions, and positively build their personal brand - all to help teens reach their full potential.

"Junior Achievement USA has long been an admirer of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and we share their passion for inspiring youth to look beyond high school and dream for a bigger and brighter future," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. "This partnership will help us reach more youth across the country and ensure that they are prepared to succeed in the workforce and in higher education."

The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens' Graduate for Mas program challenges teens to make a personal promise to graduate high school via a digital platform. Once registered, teens receive the information and inspiration they need to succeed. By staying active, they can earn points for prizes, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and educational support, including scholarships, job training and mentoring resources in their communities. Junior Achievement will work with the Foundation to add the Graduate for Mas program, which supports teens on their path to graduation, to enrich JA Career Success and help close the graduation and workforce skills gap among high school students in the U.S.

To raise awareness of the importance of high school graduation, JA of Washington and the Taco Bell for Teens Foundation held a back-to-school event Sunday at Safeco Field in Seattle. Hundreds of local teens gathered near the stadium to make the promise to graduate and enjoy free tacos from the Taco Bell® Truck.

"Building 21st-century leaders has always been the core focus of our Foundation," said Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell and chairman of the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™. "Partnering with Junior Achievement USA allows us to further our mission of ensuring that students across the United States are prepared for a successful career beyond graduation."

For more information on JA Career Success, visit www.ja.org. To learn more about the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens' Graduate for Mas program, visit www.tacobellfoundationforteens.org.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.5 million students per year in 115 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 120 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.

About Taco Bell ® Foundation for Teens™

Taco Bell Foundation Inc., also known as Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation committed to building 21st century leaders through its programs, partnerships, and direct financial assistance. Since 1992, the Foundation has served over 2 million teens in 6,000 communities across the country where Taco Bell restaurants have a presence. Through the support of our customers, franchisees, employees and vendor-partners over the last 20 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $45 million in grants and scholarships focused on education and career readiness. For more information on the Foundation and its commitment to teens – Taco Bell team members, friends and future leaders – visit tacobellforteens.org, and find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tacobell4teens.

About Taco Bell Corp.

Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant. Taco Bell serves made to order and customizable tacos, burritos, and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos® Locos Tacos, gourmet- inspired Cantina Bell® Menu and lower calorie Fresco Menu. The company encourages customers to "Live Mas," both through its food and in ways such as its Feed The Beat® music program and its nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell® Foundation for Teens™. Taco Bell and its more than 350 franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 36 million customers every week.

SOURCE Junior Achievement USA

 

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