Hundreds of Teens Gather to Discuss Issues Facing Young People at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 46th National Keystone Conference In Atlanta

Jordin Sparks, B.o.B and hip hop pioneers DMC, Doug E. Fresh and DJ Spinderella will join teens traveling from 157 cities across the country for

one of the largest, most established youth leadership conferences

ATLANTA, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,800 teens will descend on Atlanta March 21-24 for Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 46th National Keystone Conference, sponsored by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens.  The annual conference is one of the largest, most established youth leadership conferences in the country, and the most anticipated among Boys & Girls Club teens.

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Themed "ATL--All Teens Lead," the National Keystone Conference will take place as teen leadership is needed now more than ever in the U.S. Statistics show that more than 1 in 4 students fails to graduate from high school each year; 1 in 3 kids is overweight or obese; and the teen unemployment rate is at a record high.  To address these and other challenges, Keystone Conference participants will discuss solutions and develop action plans for addressing the most pressing issues facing youth in their local Clubs and communities.

During the action-packed conference, teens will hear from a wide array of motivational speakers and entertainers, including musical performances by recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks; hip hop recording artist B.o.B; and pop group OMG Girlz. Motivational sessions will feature rap and hip hop pioneers Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., Doug. E. Fresh and DJ Spinderella of Salt-n-Pepa; professional skateboarder Preston Pollard; and WWE wrestler and actress Eve Torres.

Teens will also volunteer throughout metro Atlanta; participate in interactive workshops on everything from bullying prevention, financial literacy and college preparedness to robotics, golf and movie making; and make time for fun through various social activities.

"Boys & Girls Clubs of America believes a critical step to ensuring success for teens is to actively engage them and empower them to lead through initiatives like the Keystone Conference," said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We are excited to partner with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens on another memorable learning and motivational experience for Boys & Girls Club teens."

"The Taco Bell Foundation for Teens has supported the National Keystone Conference for more than 15 years,  and we are proud of the positive impact this event has had on so many young lives," , said Regina Borda, managing director, Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. "It is our hope that by providing experiences like these, we can inspire and enable more teens across the country to achieve Mas, starting with high school graduation."

For more information about the National Keystone Conference, or to request press credentials, email Jetaun Adkins at jadkins@bgca.org or Kinetra Joseph at kjoseph@bgca.org.   

About the Keystone Club Program
Now entering its 49th year, Keystone is Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier teen leadership program. Keystone Clubs are teen leadership groups within Boys & Girls Clubs that focus on leadership development through community service projects.  They are part of a multi-million dollar teen outreach initiative funded by Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for young people ages 14 to 18 to participate in Club and community projects in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

About Taco Bell Foundation for Teens
The Taco Bell Foundation Inc., also known as Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation, is committed to inspiring and enabling America's teens to achieve mas through its programs, partnerships, and direct financial assistance. Every year, the Foundation serves more than 100,000 teens in more than 150 communities across the country and awards more than 350 grants and scholarships focused on education and career preparedness. Since 1992, we've awarded more than $35 million to support more than 1,000 teen-serving organizations in the U.S. with the help of ongoing customer, franchisee, employee and vendor partner donations. For more information visit tacobellforteens.org, and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TacoBellforTeens.

SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America



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