Manatee teens will receive job training, motivation to stay in school

vmannix@bradenton.comFebruary 12, 2014 

BRADENTON -- A $20,100 grant from the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens will go a long way for 60 teenage members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

The funds benefit youths in Career Camp programming at Southeast High School and Harllee Middle School, giving them an understanding of the skills required to enter the workforce and motivate them to graduate high school and reach their full potential.

"The Taco Bell Foundation for Teen's generous support makes a meaningful impact on the lives of our Manatee County teens," said Valerie Bliss Nelson, vice president of development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. "It's because of partnerships like this we are able to offer the academic, career, and mentorship experiences that inspire our teen members to stay committed to earning their high school degree and move onto great things in life."

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County was one of more than 300 organizations nationwide to receive a portion of $3 million granted by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens this year.

"Today's teens are tomorrow's leaders, and they need the support of every community, business and elected official in order to succeed," said Regina Borda, the foundation's managing director. "We are proud to

support Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County and other like-minded community organizations that empower teens ... to graduate from high school."

The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has awarded more than $42 million in grants and scholarships in its 20-year history. It also offers core programs, including Graduate for Más, to motivate teens to stay in school and provide job training to help them identify career opportunities and interests.

Besides Southeast and Harllee, the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County serves more than 6,000 youths at Daughtrey and Orange Ridge-Bullock elementary schools, Lincoln Memorial Middle School and the DeSoto and Palmetto clubs.

Information: or call 941-761-2582.

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix.

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