Earvin "Magic" Johnson To Rally Influential Friends To Address The Nation's High School Dropout Rate

Sep 17, 2013, 08:05 ET from Friends of Magic

CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to increase the number of former dropouts receiving their high school diploma, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, two-time NBA Hall-of-Famer and business titan, is making new friendships to take action in addressing the high school dropout epidemic.

This new organization, called Friends of Magic, will be a network of individuals, foundations and companies whose mission is to provide Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy students who are at risk or have dropped out the resources and assistance they need to not only graduate high school, but the opportunity to build their future through educational resources, internships and real world experiences.

"As many as one quarter of our nation's students are not finishing high school," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Our goal is to ensure that no student falls through the cracks, and that all students have the opportunity to receive their high school diplomas and be fully prepared for college or the workplace."

According to Natalie Williams, Vice-President of Strategic Alliances, the intent behind the Friends of Magic organization is to be a thought leader in dropout recovery and prevention solutions by providing valuable educational resources in urban areas. The resources received will be directed to provide scholarships, internships and program enhancements for students who attend the Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies across the country.

Williams also stated that in addition to securing resources, the Friends of Magic organization plans to recruit legions of volunteers to drive the dropout recovery and prevention mission at a grassroots level.  

"Our goal is to see more young people reach their fullest potential," said Williams. "Friends of Magic will put the resources where they are needed the most. This includes providing scholarships, mentoring programs, and internships that propel each and every high school graduate toward their goals."

To officially launch the Friends of Magic movement nationally, Magic Johnson is hosting a press conference in Chicago.

The very first "friend" of the Friends of Magic organization is Chicago-native rapper/actor Common. The hip-hop star will participate in the press conference and lend his support to the movement.

"I have always admired Magic's commitment to bring business and services to our community. In Chicago, the violence is so bad that we all need to band together whenever possible to provide real alternatives and give young people a reason to hope and to dream for a brighter future for themselves," Common said. "I think this opportunity is a step in that direction for so many students. I'm honored to be a part of the launch of Friends of Magic and to work with Magic, through Common Ground Foundation, to do what we can for our youth in Chicago."

The press event is scheduled for September 18, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. central time. The location for the press event is at a newly opened Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy in the Lawndale community of Chicago (3210 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL, 60624).

About Friends of Magic:
The mission of Friends of Magic is to be the authority in dropout recovery and prevention solutions. Friends of Magic will set the standard not only for giving high school students the resources and assistance they need to graduate, but also by offering them the opportunity to build their future through educational resources, internships and real world experiences. Friends of Magic will help build the bridge to education, graduation and life transformation. For more information please visit www.magicjohnsonbridgescape.com/community.

About Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy:
Magic Johnson Bridgescape® provides students who have dropped out or are at-risk of dropping out of school, with a free alternative path to earn a high school diploma in an environment that fits their schedule, life circumstances and learning needs. Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies are currently in 6 states with a total enrollment of 1,675. For more information please visit www.magicjohnsonbridgescape.com.

About Magic Johnson Enterprises:
Magic Johnson Enterprises serves as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for their partners and fostering community/economic empowerment by making available high quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities. For more information please visit www.magicjohnson.com.

Traci Daniels
(312) 218-5989 phone

SOURCE Friends of Magic