April 1, 2008 - Los Angeles, CA - In the spring of 2007, Toyota Financial Services (TFS), through its Making Life Easier for YOUth program, partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles to underwrite the Club's life-skills programs, merit programs, and provided three Sienna mini-vans, funding for the SMART Ride program, and 43 college scholarships for Club members graduating high school.
In less than a year since its first $500,000 investment in the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles, the overwhelming and nearly immediate success of this partnership became evident, leading TFS to now award a second $500,000 donation to continue and grow the Clubs' programs.
In celebration of National Boys & Girls Club Week and in the spirit of community service embodied by civil and labor rights leader Cesar Chavez, TFS sponsored a "House Party" open to the public and hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles. The event served as an opportunity for parents, children and young adults to learn more about the Clubs' variety of after-school academic and life-skills programs. Nearly 600 local residents and Club members enjoyed the evening event which featured special performances by many of the Club's dance, martial arts and musical groups.
Anna Araujo, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles, directly attributes an increase in membership from 1,900 to 2,500 youth this past year to the contributions made by TFS.
"Enrollment has increased tremendously since TFS became our partner. They've allowed us to provide programs and services to local youth and their families that we otherwise would not have been able to offer. They've raised the Clubs' visibility through the vehicles we use to pick up kids, posters, t-shirts, House Parties, and through the scholarship program which has attracted a number of teens back to the Club to participate not just as members, but also as much-needed tutors and volunteers," noted Araujo.
George Borst, President and CEO of Toyota Financial Services announced that the Making Life Easier for YOUth scholarship fund launched last year with $150,000 has been increased to $225,000 for 2008.
Borst commented, "At TFS, we really have a special place in our heart for those people whose work ethic allows them to rise to the top. Last year's 43 scholarship winners had to overcome many obstacles to position themselves for future success. And for that, we truly admire these young men and women. In fact, because we were so inspired by last year's winners, we've increased this year's scholarship fund to $225,000 to assist even more local youth achieve the dream of continuing their education."
Additionally, this spring's half-million dollar gift includes $81,000 for computer equipment and free computer courses for Club members and their parents. For many students and families in the community, this is their only opportunity to access computer equipment and training.
The achievements made by the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles since TFS' first investment into the Club last year has inspired the company to expand its Making Life Easier for YOUth program. Recognizing the need for after-school programming in other cities where TFS has a significant presence, TFS also announced three $50,000 grants to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Baltimore (Maryland), Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and Chandler (Arizona).
ABOUT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST LOS ANGELES
Since 1950, the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles (BGCs-ELA) have provided quality youth programs to neighborhoods with increasing demands for greater community involvement. Combined through three sites, more than 500 youth are served daily and a total of 2,500 are currently annual members. To assist working parents and to provide added security, the SMART Ride Program offers transportation to the three sites for students from 40 schools in East Los Angeles, Montebello, Monterey Park, and Commerce. After-school programs are designed for youth ages 5–18 and evening programs are available for their parents. Programs are diverse and focus on six core tenets: (1) Education, Technology and Career; (2) Character and Leadership; (3) Health and Life Skills; (4) Sports, Fitness and Recreation; (5) the Arts; and (6) Family Resources.
ABOUT TOYOTA FINANCIAL SERVICES
Headquartered in Torrance, Calif., Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). TFS currently employs approximately 3,000 associates in the United States. Committed to helping people improve the quality of life in their communities, TFS launched its national Making Life Easier for YOUth Program on April 16, 2007 by announcing an inaugural partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Los Angeles. TFS is proud to create new experiences and educational opportunities for youth through scholarships and support for after-school programs. For more information, please visit www.toyotafinancial.com
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