SOURCE: Taco Bell Foundation for Teens

Taco Bell Foundation for Teens

May 30, 2012 09:00 ET

Taco Bell Foundation Graduate to Go Program and Ambassador Mark Wahlberg Give Mas Through Social Media Program to Help Teens Graduate

Mark Wahlberg to Appear in New Graduate to Go National Ad to Showcase a Special Teen's Journey to Graduation

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - May 30, 2012) - Do you give más to help teens graduate? The Taco Bell Foundation Graduate to Go program surely does! With the help of Ambassador, Mark Wahlberg, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens' Graduate to Go initiative invites Americans to join the mission and like, share or tweet to help at-risk teens graduate high school. By doing so, Taco Bell will give up to $1 million to teen-serving organizations. The $1 million gift represents the more than 1 million students that drop out of high school each year. From May 24 to June 7, you can show support on Facebook and Twitter and for each action taken, Taco Bell will donate $5 to the cause.

Here is how you can get involved:

  • "Like" the custom-designed graduation caps created by Boys & Girls Club teens that will be posted on the Taco Bell Facebook page
  • Tweet or Retweet using the hashtag #GraduatetoGo
  • Share Mark Wahlberg's new TV commercial, featuring inspiring teen, Mona Dixon

The involvement doesn't stop there, as participating Taco Bell Restaurants nationwide are also showing support for this special mission by hosting the 4th annual Graduate to Go fundraiser through June 7th. During this time, customers are encouraged to donate $1 to fund teen programs. As thanks for customer support, participating restaurants will give contributors a taco coupon.

The success of the 2011 national fundraiser enabled Taco Bell Graduate to Go to distribute 350 grants totaling $3 million to Boys & Girls Clubs and other partner organizations that inspire teens to graduate high school.

Actor/Producer Mark Wahlberg, the Graduate to Go ambassador for the third consecutive year, is helping to bring more awareness to the dropout crisis and support this initiative, appearing in a national ad to encourage support. The spot features Boys & Girls Club alumna Mona Dixon, who was helped by the Graduate to Go program through her involvement with the Club. Wahlberg also continues to support teens through his Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. "Participating in this campaign with Mona inspired me, and I hope it will inspire others to help teens like her achieve greatness against all odds," said Mark Wahlberg. The ad, titled "Imagine," tells Mona Dixon's story of being homeless through her high school years and demonstrates how serious the barriers to graduation can be. It also drives home the importance of Graduate to Go's work in helping teens through positive mentors and experiences that prepare them for college, careers and life.

About Graduate to Go: Graduate to Go is a national initiative of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens (TBFT), a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation, committed to addressing the growing number of high school dropouts in the U.S. The initiative funds real-world experiences, such as job training and college preparation, proven to motivate teens to stay in school. Through the Graduate to Go initiative, the Foundation serves more than 100,000 teens and awards more than 350 grants and scholarships each year. Support includes the Graduate to Go Multi-Media Studios, Graduate to Go Business Camp, and National Keystone leadership program at 1,600 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. For more information about Graduate to Go and the high school dropout crisis, visit www.graduatetogo.com, and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GraduateToGo. Since 1995, more than $30 million has been donated to support teen programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other teen-serving organizations with the help of ongoing customer, franchisee and employee donations.

About Taco Bell Corp.: Taco Bell® Corp. ("Taco Bell®"), a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain. Taco Bell® serves tacos, burritos, signature quesadillas, Grilled Stuft Burritos, nachos, and other specialty items such as Crunchwrap Supreme®, in addition to the Why Pay More® Value Menu. Taco Bell® serves more than 36.8 million consumers each week in nearly 5,600 restaurants in the U.S.

About The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation: Mark Wahlberg and his family established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation on the belief that no child should be prevented to living up to his or her potential due to financial hardship. The Foundation works to improve the quality of life for teens living in urban communities and distributes funds to support local youth service and enrichment programs nationwide. A life-long member and advocate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Mark comes from a family of nine children with limited means and spent most of his afternoons and evenings at his local club. He credits a large part of his success to the fact that he was fortunate to spend his free time in a positive and nurturing environment. Visit www.markwahlbergyouthfoundation.com.

Contact Information