Boys & Girls Club of Dane County Tackles High School Graduation Rates in Madison

Boys & Girls Club of Dane County Tackles High School Graduation Rates in Madison University of Phoenix Foundation Encourages Youth to Be Great and Graduate with National Education Initiative

Madison, Wis., May 29, 2012 – Three of 10 kids in the United States fail to graduate each year. Additionally, only 57 percent of African American and Hispanic children graduate high school. Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is working hard to combat these unsettling statistics through implementation of the BE GREAT: Graduate program, funded by University of Phoenix Foundation. As part of the program, Madison youth will be set on the right track to high school graduation.

The BE GREAT: Graduate program is part of a national partnership between University of Phoenix Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. BE GREAT: Graduate helps young people who are the most vulnerable for dropping out of school to develop the academic, behavioral and social skills needed to be successful.

“By providing our members with the resources and positive environment they need to progress through each grade to graduation, we are hoping to close the gap for young people in our community that fail to graduate each year,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. “Thanks to the generous support of University of Phoenix Foundation, we can impact youth today for a brighter future tomorrow.”

Targeting youth who show warning signs for potentially dropping out of school, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County will monitor 50 youth over the next three years and look for the early warning signs of dropping out – also known as the ABC’s – attendance, behavior and course failure. The program allows each participant to receive a graduation mentor to provide coaching and tutoring for academic success.

“Our University of Phoenix campuses are proud to partner with the Club on this exciting new initiative to improve the graduation rates of our community’s youth,” said Briana Houlihan, campus director, University of Phoenix Madison Campus. “At University of Phoenix we believe the path to higher education starts in childhood. This innovative program will help us all learn how we can help our at-risk youth overcome obstacles and reach new academic heights.”

For more information on Boys & Girls Club of Dane County services and programs for Madison youth, including BE GREAT: Graduate, visit About the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is a not-for-profit youth development organization that serves over 2,200 young people every year. The Clubs fuel kids with the inspiration to dream and teach them the skills to achieve when they’re most impressionable through quality programs in five core areas: Character & Leadership Development; Education & Career Development; Health & Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. Boys and Girls Clubs also run the Teens of Promise (TOPS) program in all Madison Metropolitan Schools. This initiative works with high school students to prepare them for college. For additional information about our clubs and programs please visit: and

About University of Phoenix University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

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Janine Stephens Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
608-257-2606 ext. 219

Courtney Schiesher Olson PR for University of Phoenix