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Mario Batali Foundation announces leadership grant to First Star to launch a pilot program serving foster children at UCLA.

The Mario Batli Foundation announced the awarding of a $25,000 grant to First Star, a leading charity organization fighting for abused and neglected children. The grant will be used to establish an outreach program in conjunction with UCLA.


2010-08-18
WASHINGTON, DC, August 18, 2010 (Press-News.org) The Mario Batali Foundation today announced a leadership grant of $25,000 to First Star, a national charity which advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children. The grant will underpin First Star's efforts with the University of California, Los Angeles to expand UCLA's efforts in reaching out to the underserved foster youth community.

The UCLA - First Star plan has as its preliminary initiative a summer program which expands on a current weekend program. UCLA will help recruit at least 25 rising 9th graders for participation in a six-week summer immersion program on campus. The students will gain a college application/admission knowledge base, learn self-advocacy skills and interact with former foster-care students currently attending the University. They will also receive college credit for course work.

Two out of three young Americans go to college, but in the world of 800,000 foster children, fewer than 2% have that opportunity. This is not because they are less able, but because their grownups have failed them. "The numbers are staggering," said Mario Batali, founder of the Mario Batali Foundation. "All kids should have the opportunity to learn and grow and this must include significantly better education and encouragement while they are teenagers."

"Mario Batali has inspired countless Americans with his zest for life as well as his incredible cuisine," said Peter Samuelson, First Star's President. "First Star is honored to receive this financial and moral support from one of America's leaders in raising the quality of life for the least privileged of all Americans."

The summer program will also further define a second First Star initiative - establishment of a college preparatory, day and boarding middle and high school for foster youth, located at a major university such as UCLA. This pilot program will allow for more continuous benefits to the foster youth population and leverage the university's strength in educational outreach. It is intended as a model for development of similar programs at other leading universities. The on-campus school was initially proposed by Distinguished First Star Fellow, Dr. Kathleen Kelley Reardon. Through proximity and deliberate association with the university, foster youth students will receive sustained attention, education, encouragement and inspiration. Another potential benefit is the
increased likelihood of entering directly into undergraduate status on this or another campus upon transitioning out of foster care at age eighteen.

About The Mario Batali Foundation
Long before he was a household name, Mario Batali was a philanthropist. Whether donating his time, services or dollars, Mario has been actively involved in the charities close to his heart for many years to raise awareness and support for children's disease research and relief, and hunger relief. Launched in 2008, the Mario Batali Foundation was established to feed, protect, educate and empower children, encouraging them to dream big while providing them with the necessary tools to become an active force for change in today's world. In an effort to do so, the MBF strives to ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for.
Please visit http://www.mariobatalifoundation.org for more information.

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[Press-News.org] Mario Batali Foundation announces leadership grant to First Star to launch a pilot program serving foster children at UCLA.
The Mario Batli Foundation announced the awarding of a $25,000 grant to First Star, a leading charity organization fighting for abused and neglected children. The grant will be used to establish an outreach program in conjunction with UCLA.
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