FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ChildNet and Best Foot Forward to Improve Educational Outcomes for Local Youth in Foster Care with Two-Year $300,000 Contribution from AT&T
One of 30 recipients of AT&T Aspire’s nearly $12.5 million contribution to programs across U.S.
BROWARD/PALM BEACH COUNTY (October 16, 2014) – In a partnership with Best Foot Forward Foundation, ChildNet, the Community-Based Care lead agency in Broward and Palm Beach counties, has received a two-year $300,000 contribution from AT&T to fund its Grounded for Life program which improves educational outcomes for local youth in foster care.
BFF and ChildNet’s Grounded for Life program was designed as a comprehensive intervention to improve foster care youth’s engagement in learning and in high school through relationship building, problem solving and persistence. The program will be run by with Best Food Forward Foundation, the only nonprofit organization in Palm Beach County dedicated to the success of youth who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, to support foster care youth’s aspirations to graduate. Offering innovative, evidence-based, student-centered solutions, Grounded for Life will contribute the funding toward providing one-on-one graduation coaches, academic enrichment and small learning communities to 50 youth (grades nine through 12) to help them overcome barriers and build self-confidence.
“A quality education can act as a positive counterweight to the instability that children in foster care have experienced. We look forward to seeing the profound impact AT&T’s generous contribution has on “grounding” students for life, connecting our foster care youth to caring adults while boosting their belief in themselves,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wynter, ChildNet director of community relations.
It takes caring professionals and a relentless focus on results to put students at risk of dropping out of high school on the path to graduation. Because of its demonstrated success supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for their next step in life, ChildNet and BFF were named among 30 recipients nationwide to share in nearly $12.5 million from AT&T.
These contributions are a part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness. With an unwavering commitment to data-driven education outcomes, AT&T Aspire has impacted more than one million students since its launch in 2008.
“AT&T’s community investments are driven by the goal of getting students prepared to succeed in the future,” says Joe York, president of AT&T Florida. “ChildNet has a similar mission and that’s why we’re so pleased to support their efforts to help students advance successfully from middle school through postsecondary and beyond.”
Through a competitive request for proposal process, 30 schools, school districts and non-profits, including ChildNet, were selected from more than 1,100 nationwide. Programs were evaluated based on their effectiveness in helping students graduate ready for a career or college. Selected programs use evidence-based approaches to serve students and are able to demonstrate quantitative results.
A component of AT&T’s collaboration with ChildNet supports student mentoring. Research has shown that the presence of a caring adult in a young person’s life impacts his/her success. According to a recent report, students with mentors are more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college than those without mentors (76 percent versus 56 percent).
AT&T Aspire funding recipients include non-profits, schools and school districts around the country that will expand programs to serve additional students, to add components to strengthen the program, or to replicate in new locations. Many of the awardees deliver integrated student supports, focus on college or career preparation, and/or provide mentoring or peer-to-peer supports to help students succeed in academics and beyond.
About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.
ChildNet is the Community-Based Care (CBC) lead agency in Broward and Palm Beach counties and is the single private non-profit entity responsible for administration of the local child welfare systems in each county. It fulfills this responsibility by managing comprehensive networks of child welfare services providers and, in Broward, by also serving as the single centralized child welfare case management provider. The agency’s mission is to protect abused, abandoned and neglected children in the communities it serves. Fulfillment of this mission requires constant input and support from community stakeholders and service providers. For more information about ChildNet, please visit www.ChildNet.us and www.facebook.com/ChildNet or call 954-414-6000.
About Best Foot Forward
The Best Foot Forward Foundation is a 501(c) (3) community-based organization created to advocate for the education for teenagers living in the foster care system in Palm Beach County, empowering them to reach their full potential by providing academic support and guidance. For more information on Best Foot Forward, visit www.bestfoot.org, Facebook.com/bestfootkids or Twitter @BestFootKids.