As part of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens' "Camp Taco Bell" business leadership program, 90 teenagers from local Boys & Girls Clubs across Southern California teamed up with Taco Bell leadership to compete in the kitchen – developing and marketing new Taco Bell menu items.
Today, the winning team of five teens from the Carson Boys & Girls Club received a combined total of $15,000 in scholarships and grants to fund their futures. Their Live Large Burrito claimed victory in a final "taste-off" held at the Los Angeles Taco Bell restaurant located at 6254 Lexington Ave., where customers voted with their mouths on their favorite teen-created menu item.
"To be able to create something for Taco Bell and see it become a reality – a real product sold in an actual restaurant– is beyond exciting. My team worked very hard and we are honored that Taco Bell selected us as the 'Camp Taco Bell' winner," says 16-year-old Reign Ross-Elliott Rolland, one of the "Camp Taco Bell" scholarship recipients. "To have this real-world experience and to have the support and encouragement from the Taco Bell Foundation is invaluable."
Through its Graduate to Go fundraiser in June, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, with support from participating Taco Bell restaurants nationwide, raised $4.2 million. The money raised will be used to award grants to more than 350 organizations that support programs designed to inspire teens to graduate high school.
"For 20 years, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has found its purpose in serving America's teens because they are our customers, employees, and family members," says Greg Creed, chief executive officer, Taco Bell. "One of the best ways we can give back to our youth is to help them become caring, educated, and productive adults, and putting a high school diploma in the hands of teenagers puts them on the right path to accomplishing their long-term goals."
The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, is 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.
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.
Since 1995, more than $35 million has been donated to support teen programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and other teen-serving organizations with the help of on-going customer, franchisee, and employee donations.