Local Taco Bell Restaurants Award $2,650 to UNC

April 13, 2012

United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania was awarded $2,650 in the Lackawanna County area by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. The funds will support real-world experiential programs that help teens stay in school and graduate. UNC will serve approximately 30 teens through this Graduate to Go experience grant. The funds will be used for college-readiness activities and personal action planning with UNC’s Leaders-in-Training program.

“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 Michael Hanley, UNC Executive Director. “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.”

UNC is one of more than 250 organizations nationwide that will receive 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 www.tacobellfoundationforteens.org.