BBBSLV awarded $1,500 to help Lehigh Valley young people follow their dreams

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley received a $1500 grant provided by the Taco Bell Foundation to support an aspirational College Exploration Day on Saturday, June 29th. Funding was creatively used to expose students aged 12 and up to the possibilities of higher education and empower them to reach their full potential.

Fifteen Little Brothers and Little Sisters, accompanied by their adult Big mentors or family members, were privately bussed to Lehigh University in Bethlehem for a campus tour and a special activity with a Lehigh librarian, who is also a Big Sister with BBBSLV. The group then stopped at Cedar Crest College in Allentown for a scavenger hunt. The day culminated with a drawing to win a laptop computer. Site visits included breakfast and lunch as well as roundtrip transportation from the BBBSLV Youth Mentoring Center in Allentown.

“We are thrilled to play a part in the Taco Bell Foundation’s investment in America’s youth,” said Susan Bartels, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley. “When you come across another organization committed to championing education and empowering this nation’s next generation of leaders, you know there’s a special energy there. This mission we’re sharing is one with an enormous upside for our young people, our communities, and our country at large.”

BBBSLV is one of more than 350 youth-serving organizations that will receive a portion of the $5 million in grants being presented by the Taco Bell Foundation’s philanthropic arm this year. The awarded grants are an example of the Taco Bell Foundation’s goal to empower young people to channel their passions and go on to achieve their dreams.

“Young people have always been the heart and soul of our brand,” said Frank Tucker, Chief People Officer at Taco Bell and President of the Taco Bell Foundation. “Expanding our impact in this community is one of the best ways we can support the passions of young people and create opportunities that help them unlock and reach their potential.”

Taco Bell Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity that helps America’s young people follow their dreams and reach their full potential. Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has helped more than 3.5 million youth across the country and has awarded more than $72 million in grants and scholarships, focused on education and career readiness. In 2015, Taco Bell and the Taco Bell Foundation launched the Live Más Scholarship, a program aimed at empowering the nation’s next generation of dreamers, innovators and creators – those whose passions don’t fall into the conventional “academic” or “athletic” qualifying categories of traditional scholarship programs. In May of 2018, the Taco Bell Foundation awarded more than 300 employees and other deserving recipients with $3 million in Live Más Scholarships. For more information visit

The Big Brothers Big Sisters mission creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For over 40 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley has partnered with parents/guardians, schools, corporations, and others in the Lehigh Valley to pair children (Littles) qualified, trained volunteers (Bigs), and monitor these one-to-one relationships throughout their course. Visit to learn more.