State Farm® Increasing Graduation Rates and Removing Barriers to Learning, One Promise Council at a Time

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State Farm® Increasing Graduation Rates and Removing Barriers to Learning, One Promise Council at a Time

State Farm associates and Promise Council members Vicki Cyrulik (left) and Taunia Leffler.

State Farm associates and Promise Council members Vicki Cyrulik (left) and Taunia Leffler.

State Farm established the first McLean County Promise Council in 2009, at Pepper Ridge Elementary school, to address declining high school graduation rates and remove barriers to learning. State Farm has continued to provide technical and financial support to develop the Promise Council into its own 501c3 organization serving 10 schools in McLean County.

Taunia Leffler, State Farm program manager and Promise Council member, says, “The responsiveness of this community to the needs of our children is remarkable. If a child is having difficulty seeing the board, doesn’t have necessary school supplies, is without a coat during the cold Illinois winters, or many other situations that arise, the Promise Council is there to help. Often times, within 48 hours, the Promise Council is able to connect the child with an optometrist and glasses, school supplies, coats, and other items necessary for the child to engage in learning.”

The Promise Council is built on the basis of the America’s Promise Alliance’s Five Promises: caring adults, safe places, healthy start, effective education, and opportunities to help others. A group of caring adults serves as the planning team at each school and meets to review the needs of students. The planning team connects with other volunteers, community organizations, business, and agencies to help match resources with specific needs.

“I am proud to be part of State Farm and have the opportunity to actively engage, develop, and support our Promise Council’s in McLean County to ensure children’s needs are met so they can focus on learning and succeed through academic achievement,” says Vicki Cyrulik, State Farm Philanthropy/Diversity & Inclusion analyst.

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Congratulations State Farm!