12.15.2016

CenturyLink Gift Kick-Starts Treehouse Giving Challenge

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Local Companies to Partner with Treehouse to Help Improve Graduation Rates for Foster Youth Statewide

SEATTLE, WA (December 15, 2016)Treehouse, a local nonprofit organization serving kids in foster care, is pleased to announce a gift from CenturyLink in support of its goal for Washington state students in foster care to graduate at the same rates as their peers.

CenturyLink’s gift of $10,000 kick-starts a winter giving challenge for local companies to raise $1 million for education support services for students in foster care. CenturyLink, other local businesses, Treehouse, and Washington state are teaming together in a strong private and public partnership to fund the expansion of Treehouse’s Graduation Success program over the next two years. The ground-breaking education support program, currently offered in King County, provides students in foster care with the individualized academic coaching, monitoring, and planning services they need to succeed in the classroom and graduate from high school with a plan for their future.

State legislators have requested $4 million from the state to fund expansion of the Graduation Success program in the 2017 Washington state biennial budget. This funding is contingent on a four-to-one match by private donations. CenturyLink is the first local business to help fund the required $1 million match.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with CenturyLink and we are deeply grateful for their generous support and community leadership kick-starting this campaign,” commented Treehouse CEO Janis Avery. “This is a critical time to invest in education, particularly for students in foster care. The average graduation rate for students in foster care in Washington state is less than 50 percent, representing one of the most academically at-risk populations. This past year we were thrilled to learn that the five-year graduation rate for students in the Treehouse Graduation Success program was 82 percent, which is the same rate for all Washington state students! This public and private partnership will enable us to expand the Graduation Success program to help more Washington state students in foster care have access to the services they need to complete high school at the same rate as their peers.”

“Treehouse has demonstrated a long and successful track record of positive community influence and development. CenturyLink is proud to assist in these ongoing efforts,” said Sue Anderson, vice president of operations for CenturyLink. “The goal of increasing graduation rates perfectly aligns with many of CenturyLink’s unifying principles including fairness, perseverance and positive attitude, as well as our focus on K-12 education. The additional focus and development students receive is critical toward nurturing the workforce of tomorrow and we invite the Puget Sound business community to join CenturyLink in making a donation toward funding to help Treehouse achieve the $1 million mark.”

About Treehouse
Founded in 1988, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of kids in foster care.  Treehouse helps 8,000 kid in foster care each year through programs that help them succeed in school, fulfill key material needs, and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves. Treehouse has set an ambitious goal that foster youth in King County will graduate high school at the same rate as their peers with a plan for their future by 2017.  Learn more at treehouseforkids.org.

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