December 2 at 11:20am

AT&T Awards Grant to Expand Interfaith’s Transitional Youth Academy

Interfaith Community Services received $300,000 from AT&T to expand the Transitional Youth Academy program to El Camino High School in Oceanside, CA. The program currently serves 55 students at Oceanside High School and boasts a 100% high school graduation rate among its participating students. With AT&T’s support, the program will expand to serve an additional 60 students at El Camino High School.

The Transitional Youth Academy blends academic support with comprehensive mentoring, leadership development and employment training to ensure high school graduation and enrollment in college. Founded in 2005, the program has now served over 500 students. Last year, 100% of students successfully graduated from high school, and 90% enrolled in higher education.

The Transitional Youth Academy is unique in that it provides support for vulnerable students beyond the academic school year. Each summer, the program staff continues to mentor students as they complete paid internships in high growth industries such as nursing and technology support. The internships develop confidence, increase leadership skills and improve civic engagement. They also encourage students to stay in school and work towards high school graduation. Over the next two years, the Transitional Youth Academy will serve a total of 115 students from both Oceanside and El Camino High School.

“Interfaith Community Services is very excited to nearly double our mentoring and leadership development program,” said Greg Anglea, Executive Director of Interfaith Community Services. “Funding from AT&T will empower us to expand the Transitional Youth Academy beyond Oceanside High School and bring this much-needed program to El Camino High School. We are deeply committed to ensuring that all Oceanside students successfully graduate from high school and are college and career ready.”

It takes attentive 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 Transitional Youth Academy’s demonstrated success supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for their next steps in life, the program has been named as one of just 30 recipients nationwide that will 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 1 million students since its launch in 2008. “AT&T is thrilled to support Interfaith Community Services and the Transitional Youth Academy program through our Aspire commitment,” said John Osborne, Director of External Affairs for AT&T. “Solving the drop-out crisis and preparing kids for college and career success takes more than just in-school support. The Transitional Youth Academy is a model program for Oceanside and the San Diego region. AT&T is proud to be a partner in this effort.”

Through a competitive request for proposal process, 30 schools, school districts and non-profits, including Interfaith Community Services, were selected from more than 1,100 nationwide. Programs were evaluated based on their effectiveness helping students graduate ready for 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 Interfaith Community Services supports student mentoring. Research has shown that a caring adult in a young person’s life impacts their 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 vs. 56 percent).