The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and Boys & Girls Clubs of America teamed up for a five-year partnership to support teens graduate high school. They want these kids to have a successful future. To help these kids out the Taco Bell Foundation looks to provide a $30 million, multi-year grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
According to Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2013 report, a projected 1 million students failed to graduate with their class in 2013 and one in four American students will not graduate on time. They also discovered that kids who graduate high school are more likely to find a job and less likely to live in poverty and suffer from poor health than kids who drop out of school.
From this partnership of the Boys & Girls Club and the Taco Bell Foundation by 2018 they will help more than half a million teens stay on track to graduate. I was able to ask Taco Bell President, Brian Niccol a few questions on this outstanding program.
Art Eddy: Can you tell me a bit about the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and how people can help out?
Brian Niccol: We founded the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens in 1992 with a desire to help teens because they are a huge part of who Taco Bell is they are our customers, our friends and our families. They are also our employees a lot of people don’t realize that but they make up 30 percent of our team members.
In brief, the Taco Bell Foundation has given more than $45 million in support to more than two million teens in our communities, in high schools and at Taco Bell. With our new $30 million, five-year partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we plan on expanding our impact and helping more teens graduate high school and go on to fulfill their career dreams and life goals.
One of the best ways that people can help us out with our mission to support America’s teens is by getting involved with the local Boys & Girls Club outlet in your city or town. Volunteer, be a mentor, make a donation or just stop by to visit. Really anyone can make a huge impact for the teens right in your own neighborhood and its all the more meaningful when it’s on an intimate, one-on-one level. You’d be amazed at how you can change a teen’s life. In fact, many Boys & Girls Clubs alums say time and time again that their mentors saved their lives.
AE: The foundation teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help out teens. What are you hoping these young adults get out of that program?
BN: We want to support teens so that they can reach their full potential or, as we like to say at Taco Bell, so that they can achieve “más”. The way we’re doing this is by investing in an all-encompassing program that will provide teens with the tools, mentorships, opportunities and support to graduate high school, envision their future success and go on to accomplish everything they are capable of.
More specifically, our program is focused in four areas: one, preparing rising eighth and ninth graders with the tools needed to best transition into high school, two, introducing teens to higher education and job skill development opportunities, three, providing access to $83 million in scholarships and financial aid support, and lastly celebrating high school graduation with exciting local events across America.
AE: You are a father of three what are some of the morals you look to instill in them?
BN: I hope my kids will have a big heart, be dedicated to a passion and always be honest. I’ve found in my experience that integrity, commitment and empathy are important values one can have and I’d love to pass this lesson on to my kids as soon as possible so that they can be the best version of themselves and so that they share their best with others.
AE: Have your kids ever helped out with any of the new creations at Taco Bell?
BN: No, actually they haven’t yet. But I can tell you they are huge fans and are always willing to provide ad ideas.