Industry News | May 16, 2013
Mark Wahlberg, Taco Bell Team Up to Help Kids Graduate
The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, in partnership with Get Schooled, announced the launch of Graduate for Mas, a program challenging teens to make a personal commitment to graduate high school.
Actor and philanthropist Mark Wahlberg, who did not finish high school himself, also announced his support of the program.
"I grew up without the support and resources I needed to stay motivated, so graduation was the last thing on my mind," Wahlberg says. "Today, I see students across the country struggling under the same circumstances, and I know I'm in a position to help. That's why I'm demonstrating my personal commitment to education by earning my high school diploma."
Wahlberg and his Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation recently joined the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, Get Schooled, and MTV News executive producer Sway to celebrate students at T.C. Williams High School, outside of Washington, D.C., for being the largest study body in the country to make the promise to graduate high school through the Graduate for Mas program.
He then joined Taco Bell leadership on a tour of Capitol Hill, meeting with the White House, select members of Congress, and key policymakers to discuss the need to inspire and enable teens to achieve more, starting with high school graduation.
Graduate for Mas is an online program dedicated to empowering teens to make a personal promise to graduate high school and to achieve "mas" in their communities.
The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens developed the program in partnership with Get Schooled to provide digital tools, support, and an online community that high school students need to stay on track.
Once registered, teens can earn points for prizes, rewards, and educational support, including scholarships and local mentoring resources. In celebration of the program's launch, teens who promise to graduate will earn a coupon for a free crunchy taco at participating Taco Bell restaurants.
"Simply put, we believe in teens and are actively working on their behalf to identify ways to help them reach their full potential," says Greg Creed , Taco Bell CEO and co-chairman of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. "The Graduate for Mas program ensures that today's teens become tomorrow's leaders, and its success requires the support of communities, business leaders, elected officials, and like-minded organizations, like Mark and his own Youth Foundation."
Wahlberg demonstrated his continued support, sharing a message on Twitter and Facebook announcing his support of Graduate for Mas and encouraging teens to make the promise to graduate high school.
The actor/producer returned to high school last year by enrolling in an online diploma program based in Massachusetts.
Wahlberg's involvement includes engaging other celebrities and peers, as well as leveraging pop culture events to deliver Graduate for Mas information that inspires teens in their educational pursuits.
"As the premiere education brand for young people, we are thrilled to partner with the Taco Bell Foundation to create the Graduate for Mas program," says Marie Groark, executive director of Get Schooled Foundation. "Together, we are making significant progress on keeping students in school through creative digital programs and social technology that engage teens."
Food & Beverage
QSR® magazine has always found space to report on the charitable works and deeds of members of the foodservice community. But recently it became important to us to step up our efforts, and the decision was made to consolidate these stories in one place so you, the reader, could easily learn about what the industry is doing when it comes to giving back.
Our hope is that these pages will inspire and motivate you to take up your own cause—whatever that might be—to make our world a better place.
Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's International, told readers in the very first issue of QSR magazine that "Profit is not a dirty word." But Thomas also worked tirelessly for the many charitable causes that touched his life. In so doing, he proved that running a successful business extends beyond the bottom line and that the real rewards in life are measured in a currency far greater than the dollar.
So let these stories inspire you to find your cause, if you haven't already done so. We encourage you to let us know what you're doing, so that others might follow your lead, pickup your cause, and contribute in ever more positive ways to our communities and lives.
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Only research cures children’s cancer. The cure rates have risen from 10% forty years ago to a 78% overall cure rate today. Our goal is 100%.
Be part of the cure. Together, we can conquer children’s cancer.
The U.S. Congress has under consideration a bill that would provide $150 million for childhood cancer research. CureSearch offers an easy email template to write your federal representatives in support of this bill. It may be the most rewarding five minutes you spend today.