Consistent with one of our core values, "Always Learning, Always Teaching," Darden believes education is key to a promising future – and that all young people deserve access to the tools and training needed to succeed in the 21st century workplace. Through Recipe For Success®, we foster opportunity for low-income students by empowering them with the tools and resources needed to graduate from high school and pursue a college or technical school education. Our network of partners – Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, College Summit, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and United Negro College Fund – have the breadth and depth needed to help address student gaps and provide access to the tools, hands-on learning and wrap-around services needed to make students’ dreams a reality.
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 is the nation’s largest building-centered, youth-focused provider of after-school programs. More than 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach.
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. Over the past year, Darden’s support of the Diplomas to Degrees program provided college readiness training and tools to nearly 22,000 teens in 500 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.
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 2013-2014 school year, City Year AmeriCorps members will serve full-time in 275 schools in 25 cities across the U.S. to support over 150,000 students. In Orlando, City Year is partnering with Orange County Public Schools to target 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 and great results are already being achieved. Please check out the City Year video for more information.
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 180 high schools across 13 states. With Darden’s support, College Summit’s Launch program allowed 31,000 students in grades 9 – 11 across 180 College Summit schools to explore and build skills to successfully navigate the path to college.
In addition, Darden's direct support of College Summit’s Peer Leadership workshops made possible 120 Peer Leader workshops in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Southern California, Florida and New York. In the past five years, Darden’s support of these locations has impacted 5,220 high school seniors, who then returned to their high schools and guided 30,000 other seniors through the college admissions process.
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. ProStart serves more than 95,000 students in 1,700 high schools in 47 states, and provides critical management and culinary skills to help students succeed.
In 2012, Darden's $200,000 contribution helped fund 13% of the state ProStart program growth, allowing individual states to better train their educators, fund their competitions, and reach out to underserved areas of their state. Darden also contributed 50 scholarships for students at the state and national levels, supporting them to pursue advanced degrees in the culinary arts, restaurant management, or hospitality management.
Darden Restaurants is a proud supporter of The Able Trust’s high school tech program – and has been for several years. The Able Trust’s mission is to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment. Through partnerships, like the one with Darden, The Able Trust has supported approximately 2,000 Florida citizens with disabilities as they enter the workforce each year. The Able Trust youth programs provide career development and transition to almost 2,000 students with disabilities annually, helping to reduce the dropout rate and prepare young adults for life beyond high school.
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.