October 22, 2008
Travelers Announces Education Access Initiative
National trends indicate that higher percentages of students enrolled in K-12 schools will be from communities underserved by the public educational system. This growing population of students is less likely to graduate from high school, enroll in post-secondary education and complete a college degree.(a) As such, Travelers (NYSE:TRV) today announced its newest Education Access Initiative partnership with Morgan State University at the company's partners symposium in Baltimore.
"Travelers recognizes that it is our responsibility to invest in ways that will contribute to a positive future for our communities," said Marlene Ibsen, vice president of Community Relations, Travelers. "Students who will become the workforce of the future will benefit from our investment. Our business will benefit from our ability to recruit from a diverse pool of talented candidates. Communities will benefit as young citizens become effectively engaged in their own future."
Launched in 2007, the Travelers Education Access Initiative (TEAI) provides an innovative, holistic approach to education. Through partnerships with colleges, universities and community-based organizations, the company is increasing access to higher education and providing students with the opportunity to excel.
One of the first partnerships established was with Capital Community College in Hartford, Conn. "Every fall hundreds of Capital students become the first member of their family to attend college," says Dr. Calvin Woodland, president, Capital Community College. "These first-generation college students shoulder many responsibilities, juggling school with family duties and work. TEAI is not only providing these students with the chance to excel academically but with a competitive edge to career success. The opportunities Travelers presents to our students are truly opening doors and changing lives."
TEAI strives to:
-- Increase the pipeline of underrepresented students to college;
-- Help students from underrepresented communities graduate from college;
-- Build awareness of careers in insurance and financial services.
The program is building the pipeline to college by supporting community- and school-based efforts to help students progress from middle school to a rigorous high school curriculum, which will prepare them to enter college and to be able to compete on an equal level with their peers. Once enrolled in college, students benefit from a broad range of supportive services, including financial support, internships and job shadowing, professional development workshops, and mentorship.
"The students we are targeting face a unique set of obstacles that can interfere with their ability to complete their course work," says Ibsen. "Research shows these students are much more likely to achieve success if they have a broad range of supportive programs available," says Ibsen. "We believe that TEAI provides the comprehensive approach that will be the formula for success for traditionally underrepresented students."
To date, programs are in place in Minnesota through partnerships with the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota, Page Education Foundation, Admission Possible and Metropolitan State University; in Maryland through Morgan State University and CollegeBound; and in Connecticut with Capital Community College, Career Beginnings, CPEP and the University of Connecticut.
On October 22 and 23, 2008, all college, university and community partners will come together in Baltimore at the inaugural partners symposium to network and share best practices.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), a leading auto, home and business insurer, provides support for charitable organizations in the community through the Travelers Foundation and with corporate funding and in-kind services. The company's community giving is focused on education, community development and the arts. Travelers employees are consistently active in community initiatives and perform thousands of hours in volunteer time each year. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
(a) Education Commission of the States, Closing the College Participation Gap - A National Summary, October 2003.