One out of every four students in the United States fails to graduate from high school in four years. As a result, Irvine-based quick service chain Taco Bell created the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, a public benefit corporation that has raised more than $35 million in order to fund programs to motivate teens to stay in school.
The foundation’s business leadership program, Camp Taco Bell, teams 90 teenagers from Southern California Boys & Girls Clubs with Taco Bell leadership this year to compete in developing and marketing new menu items.
Five teens from the Carson Boys & Girls Club won this year’s challenge when the customers at a Los Angeles Taco Bell voted for their “Live Large Burrito.” The team received scholarships and grants totaling $15,000 in order to fund their future education. One student participant, 16-year-old Reign Ross-Elliot Rolland voiced his enthusiasm. “To be able to create something for Taco Bell and see it become a reality is beyond exciting,” Rolland said. “To have this real-world experience and to have the support and encouragement from the Taco Bell Foundation is invaluable.”
In June, The Taco Bell Foundation held its Graduate to Go fundraiser. Taco Bell restaurants nationwide raised $4.2 million for grants awarded to 350 organizations with programs that motivate high school students to graduate. “For 20 years, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has found its purpose in serving America’s Teens because they are our customers, employees and family members,” said Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed. “Putting a high school diploma in the hands of teenagers puts them on the right path to accomplishing their long-term goals.”
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