Toyota, Boys and Girls Clubs Launch Scholarship Partnership at BSU
By Jocelyn Jones
Toyota and the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) on April 5 announced on the campus of Bowie State University, a national partnership in order prepare children for the future. Over three years in order to provide resources, tools and support the Boys and Girls club and prepare them for high school and transition to college graduation Toyota is providing a $1.5 million grant. “
For Toyota to choose to come to Bowie State University for this event is significant and represents a partnership here on this campus,” said President Mickey L. Burnim.
More than 100 teens from area Boys and Girls Clubs attended the event in the McKeldin gymnasium. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former NBA player and Boys and Girls Club alumnus A.C. Green were also on hand as well as representatives from Toyota and BGCA. “
To move forward in this changing new economy, we must create jobs and expand opportunity, and education is the best tool we have,” O’Malley said. “In Maryland, we have set a goal to improve student achievement and school, college career readiness by 25 percent by 2015 because we believe in giving our children the tools they need to succeed. Together, with innovative partnerships like this, we can return to the urgent work of building up our children’s future.”
Toyota and BGCA support the club members and will help them succeed in their educational careers and prepare them for life. Toyota is a founding sponsor of Diplomas to Degrees (D2D), a program intended for adolescents in an effort to widen their short- and long-term goals, and familiarize them with college and careers. Many students whether they know it or not have the potential to succeed in their academic lives, organizers said, they just need the proper resources and get that push from mentor or someone important in their lives to believe in them.
“Toyota is committed to helping improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work,” said Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Planning of Toyota Financial Services Mike Groff. “Our partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs is an extension of our focus on education and key component o the new D2D program is engaging our associates to volunteer as mentors and college coaches through their local clubs.
Groff added that the ultimate goal of the program is to increase the number of youth who graduate from high school and enroll in college, university or other postsecondary institution.
In this country, more than 30 percent of young people drop out of high school, according to statistics provided by Toyota. The Japanese automaker’s representatives said the company is very supportive of youth and the importance of education.
Toyota has provided approximately $ 1 million academic scholarships for more than 225 Boys and Girls Club alumni and staff, company officials said. The Boys and Girls Club of America is devoted to working with youth in order to prepare them for postsecondary education.