SOURCE: United Way of America

May 15, 2008 08:00 ET

United Way Outlines Ambitious 10 Year Goals Around High School Graduation Rates, Financial Stability and Health

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - United Way, the nation's largest nonprofit, today announced a sharpened focus on education, income and health as a way to help advance the common good. In a startling new report, United Way cites alarming statistics and sets three goals for the country to reach by 2018. The organization's new vision will focus on high school graduation rates, financial stability and health.

"It is increasingly apparent that the basic building blocks of a good life -- a quality education, stable income and good health -- are beyond the reach of too many individuals and families," said Brian A. Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way. "As a nation, we can't accept these conditions. We need to challenge our systems to ignite a new social movement and begin to develop new partnerships and strategies which will create opportunities for a better life for all people."

Goals for the Common Good: The United Way Challenge to America draws connections between the areas of education, income and health and demonstrates how lacking in one area affects the common good. It sets three bold goals for where the nation should be by 2018:

--  Cut by half the number of young people who drop out of high school.
--  Cut by half the number of working families that lack financial
    stability.
--  Increase by one-third the percentage of healthy young people and
    adults.
    

General Colin L. Powell (Ret), founding chair of America's Promise Alliance, stated, "Failure to graduate hurts our children, damages our economy and weakens our national security position in the world. As our recent Cities in Crisis report on high school graduation rates illustrated, these statistics are alarming."

The report draws on research and input from a broad range of partners to gauge where progress has -- and has not -- been made over the last 10 years. Data in the area of health was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"United Way will be an important partner in creating strong relationships to address the prevention of risky behaviors and root causes of poor health outcomes and disparities among groups," said Dr. Janet Collins, CDC's director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

United Way maintains that this work will require innovative new strategies and partnerships across all sectors -- businesses, nonprofits, governments and individuals. For more information, visit LIVEUNITED.org. The full webcast of Brian Gallagher's announcement of this movement to advance the common good is available online.

About United Way

United Way is a global network, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. that advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: LIVEUNITED.org.

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