Tuesday, November 29, 2011

America's Promise Alliance and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Announce Grad Nation Partnership

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- America's Promise Alliance (America's Promise) and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (The Ritz-Carlton) today announced a partnership to host a series of events in 2012 that will bring together local and national business, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to learn information and align support for the Grad Nation campaign. These events include:

Powell Leadership Circle Meetings: Powell Leadership Circle is an elite group of foundation, corporate and individual philanthropists who have donated $1 million or more per year to support the work of America's Promise.
Grad Nation Business Collaborative Meetings: These meetings will be held across the country and bring together local, regional and national business leaders to facilitate collaboration to support youth, schools and communities. Details and locations for these meetings will be announced early next year.
Convening of the America's Promise Alliance Board of Directors: Three annual meetings of the America's Promise Board of Directors.

As part of this partnership, The Ritz-Carlton will donate all meeting space at one of their properties in the designated cities to host the event, along with providing all catering and other logistical support.

"The quality of our education system directly impacts our economy, which is why we must all join together to end the dropout crisis," said Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO, America's Promise Alliance. "We're proud to partner with a company like The Ritz-Carlton whose hospitality reaches beyond their properties into building stronger communities and young people."

The Ritz-Carlton has been a longtime partner of America's Promise, supporting the work to improve the lives of young people through its highly regarded Succeed Through Service program. At Ritz-Carlton properties worldwide, hotel employees engage young students through career exploration modules designed to reveal the career benefits of continuing education, and life skills training such as social skills, etiquette and presentation skills that are aimed at boosting self-confidence. The students also play an active role in each hotel's Community Footprints projects to learn the importance of contributing to their community.

"We focus our employees' efforts on engaging and mentoring young students," said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer. "As the name suggests, Succeed Through Service is all about inspiring young people to do their best. Our aim is simple - to instill in the students the vision of a successful future if they remain in school."

Grad Nation is a 10-year campaign to end the dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. It is the second phase of the highly successful America's Promise Dropout Prevention Campaign launched in April 2008. Between 2008 and 2010, America's Promise sponsored and helped co-convene 105 Dropout Prevention Summits in all 50 states bringing more than 40,000 policy, business, education, community and faith leaders together with nonprofits, parents and young people to discuss the dropout crisis in their communities and begin a dialogue on solutions around it.

Each year, more than one million students drop out of high school—about 7,000 each school day. Research by the Alliance for Excellent Education found that cutting the nation's high school dropout rate in half would generate $7.6 billion in increased earnings in an average year and would likely result in $19 billion in increased home sales and $741 million more in auto sales. Together, the increased earnings, additional spending, and investment by new graduates would equate to 54,000 new jobs and $9.6 billion in economic growth for the nation.

About America's Promise Alliance

America's Promise Alliance is the nation's largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. We bring together more than 400 national organizations representing nonprofit groups, businesses, communities, educators and policymakers. Through our Grad Nation campaign, we mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. Building on the legacy of our Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, America's Promise believes the success of young people is grounded in Five Promises: caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others. For more information, visit www.americaspromise.org.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Maryland, currently operates 77 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

Details of The Ritz-Carlton Succeed Through Service program may be viewed here: www.succeedthroughservice.com

SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.