The NBC Universal Foundation will direct $800,000 in grants to non-profits in six cities across the U.S. in an ongoing effort to improving public secondary education in underserved communities.
In its fifth year, the funding will support 26 non-profit organizations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Washington, D.C., that have demonstrated their commitment to improving educational opportunities for 6th through 12th grade students, NBCU said in a release that lists the beneficiaries.
The program has directed more than $6 million in total to education.
"There is no better way to brighten the future of a young person than by helping him or her achieve success in the classroom," NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker said in the release. "That's why five years ago we focused our philanthropic efforts on secondary education. I am so pleased with the results of our investments, which have helped so many young people graduate from high school, begin college, and start on a path of lasting success."
Funding is intended to support a wide range of programs including college test preparation, career counseling, employment skill development and theater workshops that educate children through performance.
NBCU employees have been actively involved with this effort and will continue to support the organizations by volunteering as mentors, tutors and career speakers. Last year, NBCU employees donated close to 10,000 volunteer hours to their communities.
Previous grant recipients from 2009 have made significant strides in strengthening their students' academic performances. In New York, 100% of seniors participating in the MediaLab program with the Urban Arts Partnership have graduated from high school and have been accepted to college. Communities in Schools of Miami helped 94% of students involved in the Bridges to Graduation program increase their knowledge of work readiness skills, and was nationally recognized by the President at the State of the Union Address for its educational initiatives.