Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) announced today it is partnering with University of Phoenix to combat dropout rates among the nation’s youth. Currently one in three kids in the United States fails to graduate each year with one in two African American and Hispanic kids falling short of high school graduation, statistics the BE GREAT: Graduate program aims to change.
The three-year partnership between University of Phoenix Foundation and BGCA will help 10 Clubs across the nation (Woburn, Mass.; Baltimore, Md.; Macon, Ga.; Jackson, Miss.; Madison, Wis.; Cleveland, Ohio; Talequah, Okla.; Little Rock, Ark.; Santa Ana, Calif.; and Phoenix, Ariz.) build and implement BE GREAT: Graduate, a BGCA initiative that helps young people most vulnerable for dropping out of school develop the academic, behavioral and social skills needed to be successful. Targeting youth who show warning signs for potentially dropping out of school, the partnership will focus on providing mentorship and graduation coaching for fourth to eighth graders.
"University of Phoenix strives to remove barriers to higher education for all students," said Pat Gottfried, executive director, University of Phoenix Foundation. "We have been a long-time supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America because we believe the path to higher education starts in childhood. Through the BE GREAT: Graduate program we can begin to positively influence these students and set a higher standard of educational achievement."
The mission of the University of Phoenix Foundation is to increase access to education, especially for underrepresented and low-income students traditionally under-served by the education continuum, in an effort to provide a pathway for economic advancement.
"Partnering with University of Phoenix Foundation is a great fit for BGCA because we both feel very strongly about the importance of education and providing young people with resources to achieve academic success," said Judith J. Pickens, senior vice president for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Program & Youth Development Services. "We are excited for the opportunity to keep youth on the right track to graduate from high school with a viable plan for their future."
The first year of the partnership will focus on capacity building in Clubs, providing resources for organizations to work on the quality of their current programming and promoting a culture of academic success along with increasing their ability to recruit and retain volunteers. Years two and three are set to monitor and track academic success data for a total of 50 youth per Club.
For more information about BGCA’s partnership with University of Phoenix Foundation, visit http://bgca.org/meetourpartners/Pages/University_of_Phoenix.aspx
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship university of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.