During the past several years, I have worked with a team of community leaders throughout Central Florida, across the state and with Orange County Public School officials to bring City Year to Orlando.
While many people may think of Orlando as a great place to visit because of the theme parks and the fun and sun of Florida's beaches, there are severe economic and educational challenges that are inescapable for many people who live in our region. Students in Orlando, like in many other cities, have a higher dropout rate than their suburban peers — statistics show that one student gives up on school every 26 seconds. But I believe that every student has the ability to succeed. Some just need a little more help.
That's why the Universal Orlando Foundation is proud to be a founding sponsor of City Year Orlando, and to sponsor an inaugural team of 10 amazing City Year corps members at Memorial Middle School. These tireless corps members assemble at Memorial before the students arrive. They offer extra help in class. They get to know each and every student. They mentor. They encourage. They motivate. They provide the extra people power our schools need to help more students stay on track, and stay in school. And there are 40 other City Year corps members at four other area schools, devoting a year of their lives to make sure Orlando students have the attention and support they need to succeed.
The Universal Orlando Foundation is proud to join our parent company, Comcast, in supporting 11 City Year teams across the country, improving the nation's high school graduation rate, one student at a time. As City Year likes to say, "Give a year. Change the world."