TACO is a non-profit organization committed to inspiring young people from diverse backgrounds to be fully engaged in school and life so they have opportunity and choice to pursue their dreams.
TACO envisions a society of thriving healthy teens that are focused on getting to and through college to live positively impactful lives.
The American Children's Organization (TACO) was first envisioned by Shawn Crosby in 2006. In organizing his vision plan Shawn realized that the youth of his hometown community Cleveland, Ohio was in need of an outlet and a wake up call. Cleveland, with graduation rates at 38% was in need of some systemic change. In pursuit of change Shawn planned to make an impact through programing and exposure. The youth in his city were dealing with many issues from low academic performance in school to low self-esteem, to not realizing and pursuing their goals.
In its first year TACO hit the ground running, receiving grants from various community organizations including Youth Venture. TACO also launched its first City Chapter through a partnership with the Upward Bound program at Cleveland State University. Later in 2006 TACO also hosted our first city wide event, Ballin 4 Life (B4L is an annual event to help promote college enrollment, and staying healthy through recreation and safe sexual practices).
Nearly 600 teens attended B4L. B4L put TACO on the map and after the success of this event our partnerships grew in 2007. After two years of existence its first graduating class finally came. TACO graduated 95% of the seniors, 80% of them enrolled into post-secondary education and 20% enrolled in the military. What an achievement. In 2009 TACO piloted its first college readiness curriculum "College Track" in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, College Track focuses on building mentor-mentee relationships with participants that support growth and development academically, and socially. Our first After school program and college tours were launched in 2012. TACO focuses efforts in Ohio, Georgia, and New York and looks forward to growing and spreading our initiatives across the globe to all youth. TACO will continue to be an organization for teens to serve teens and youth serving YOUth.