WellCare Donates $20,000 To The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative To Empower Homeless Students In Georgia - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

WellCare Donates $20,000 To The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative To Empower Homeless Students In Georgia

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The donation will go towards ODBIs after-school coaching program to empower youth and young adults who are homeless, and those who are about to age-out of the foster care system and are at-risk for becoming homeless, to set and achieve goals for healthier, more productive lives.

Tampa, Fla. (PRWEB) August 28, 2014

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) has donated $20,000 to the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative (ODBI), a Georgia non-profit organization that provides advocacy and professional coaching to teens and young adults who are most at-risk of not successfully completing their education, and students who are homeless or in foster care "group homes."

The donation will go towards ODBIs after-school coaching program to empower youth and young adults who are homeless, and those who are about to age-out of the foster care system and are at-risk for becoming homeless, to set and achieve goals for healthier, more productive lives. As part of the partnership, WellCare employees will also volunteer with ODBI and the company will provide educational materials about healthy living.

According to ODBIs research, there are approximately 35,000 certified homeless students in Georgia's K-12 public schools, with approximately 7,000 of those homeless students living in the Greater Atlanta area. Of those who are still in foster care, more than 80 percent are expected to age-out of the system without completing their high school education or passing the General Educational Development (GED) test. Research suggests that a student who drops out of high school is eight times more likely to be incarcerated and 40 times more likely to be on public assistance than those who complete their education.

ODBIs coaching programs are 12-week courses designed to help participants set attainable goals, create education and life plans, continue their education and set upon on a career path. The evidence-informed curriculum delivered by executive-level coaches builds upon self-reliance, self-advocacy, education planning and career exploration, improved critical thinking, safe and sustainable relationships, community involvement and peer-to-peer mentoring. Those who successfully complete the program earn an orange duffel bag and a laptop computer to help bridge the digital divide prevalent among disadvantaged students.

"Many students are surprised to discover what's inside them, said Diana Black, vice president, Orange Duffle Bag Initiative. They have had no prior experience getting to know themselves or hearing their own voice; nor have they had an opportunity to look at their choices, their future, and create a plan for their success.

On behalf of the young people we serve, Orange Duffel Bag Initiative is thrilled and honored to receive this generous support from WellCare and its employees, said Michael Daly, president, Orange Duffle Bag Initiative. Together we continue to improve the lives and the communities we servecollaborating for collective impact.

WellCare supports organizations such as ODBI in order to enhance our communities and provide people with access to the resources they need to take charge of their health and wellbeing, said Roman Kulich, WellCares region president, Georgia and South Carolina. We are committed to investing in solutions that improve lives and communities, which can ultimately reduce the long-term costs of health care.

Almost 400 of Georgia's most vulnerable students have graduated the coaching program and evidence shows that the program improves critical thinking and helps the students achieve educational success. To learn more about ODBI, please visit http://www.theodbi.org.

As of June 30, 2014, WellCare serves approximately 617,000 Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® plan members, 29,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 53,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Georgia.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind, and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves approximately 3.9 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2014. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at http://www.wellcare.com.

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