Boys & Girls Clubs of America's (BGCA) mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. BGCA leads a federation of more than 1,146 Organizations and 3,985 Clubs across the country. Diplomas to Degrees is a critical component of BGCA's comprehensive educational strategy and is designed to create the expectation that all Club members will not only graduate from high school, but also pursue postsecondary education.
City Year – an education-focused nonprofit organization – partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. City Year's Whole School, Whole Child model provides AmeriCorps members an opportunity to tutor students identified as at-risk of dropping out. In the 2012-2013 school year, City Year AmeriCorps members will serve full-time in 238 schools in 24 cities across the U.S. to support 150,000 students. In Orlando, City Year is partnering with Orange County Public Schools to target the lowest performing schools and provide research-based academic interventions, extended learning programs, and foster a school-wide climate of achievement to ensure local students stay on track to post-secondary success. Darden Foundation is supporting City Year and Oak Ridge High School in this initiative's pilot program, and great results are already being achieved.
College Summit is a national non-profit organization that helps high schools raise their college enrollment rates by building a college-going culture. College Summit has grown to serve 50,000 students annually in 170 high schools across 12 states. Darden Foundation supports College Summit's Launch curriculum for grades 9-11, which sets students on the postsecondary path early in their high school careers. Launch helps students explore and build skills to successfully navigate the path to college. The Foundation also supports Peer Leadership development by serving youth who are entering their senior year of high school and working toward individual postsecondary goals while inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
The mission of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is to increase the number of Hispanic college graduates by awarding scholarships and assisting students and their families with the information they need to enroll in and graduate from college. Darden Foundation's support of scholarships and the academic support program are part of HSF's Generation First Degree, an initiative focused on closing the "degree gap" that exists between Hispanic students and their peers.
As the cornerstone program of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart provides academic and on-the-job training to develop talented students into industry leaders. In 2011, Darden Foundation awarded $200,000 to ProStart, supporting national programming, and scholarships that will enhance the lives of nearly 100,000 students, their educators and communities.
As the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, UNCF has partnered with Darden Foundation and College Summit to support the Darden Restaurants Recipe for SuccessTM Scholarship. In 2011, 60 students in the Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas received renewable four- or five-year scholarships, which award a $2,500 annual cash grant to those with unmet financial needs. Totaling $600,000, the scholarships were awarded to promising students with clear future goals and a dedication to motivating their peers to go to college.
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