By Nichelle Rachal, Sr. Community Relations Consultant
This year, The Clorox Company Foundation celebrates 35 years of partnering with our communities to make a lasting, positive impact. The foundation has supported countless educational and youth development programs as well as cultural arts initiatives, with more than $99 million in cash grants over the last three and a half decades.
One particular organization that has held a special place in our hearts is the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), which even predates the foundation. Our former CEO Bob Shetterly helped spearhead EOYDC’s creation more than 37 years ago. His vision: level the playing field for youth in need and give them the opportunities they need to succeed.
Just this year, EOYDC cut the ribbon on a 6,600 square foot expansion and remodel of its existing facility that will help the nonprofit serve 3,000 young people annually, increasing its reach by 50 percent. There is no doubt Mr. Shetterly would be proud and humbled to see how much the organization has grown and of Clorox’s continued support through grants and volunteerism.
In support of the EOYDC’s expansion, and as part of our 35th anniversary celebration, our foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to our oldest partner. These funds will support EOYDC’s programs that provide children with the skills they need to complete their education, find jobs, enroll in college and develop leadership skills.
Whenever we consider a grant application, we look for three major things: community impact, program efficacy and sustainability. Here’s a look at just one of EOYDC’s many successful programs, the Pathways to College and Careers (PTC2). In 2014, the PTC2 program served 130 students who achieved the following:
- 100 percent of graduating high school seniors were accepted to two- and four-year colleges.
- Program staff supported 15 college-bound students to win $68,572 in scholarships.
- 23 graduating high school seniors, all students of color, received assistance with completing college applications. They submitted a total of 38 applications, 25 of which were accepted.
- PTC2 program graduates are now studying at colleges and universities around the nation including Clark Atlanta University, Fisk University, Hampton University, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, University of California Davis, University of California Merced, University of California at Irvine University of Houston, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University and University of Oregon.
For 37 years, EOYDC has focused on helping youth develop the skills and confidence to help themselves. EOYDC excels at adapting to the changing needs of the community they serve while still delivering the highest quality programming. They are model to the children and teens they serve and a model to us.
It’s been an impactful 35 years with the foundation and 37 years with EOYDC, and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with this organization as well as so many of the nonprofit groups and individuals who are changing lives in their communities.