Just as we believe it's important to provide for the basic needs of our families and children, we also believe that by supporting organizations that provide the right opportunities for our neighbors, we can have a positive impact on individuals' lives.
TJX is committed to supporting organizations that help youth by focusing our resources on enrichment programs that ensure greater success in school as well as workforce readiness. In fact, we have always been passionate about helping children reach their full potential. Since 1984, we have been a sponsor of Save the Children, a non-profit organization that provides programs to children in low-income, rural communities in America. For more than 30 years, TJX's support of Save the Children has contributed to the organization's ability to provide access to early education, literacy, nutrition and physical fitness programs for thousands of children in areas where resources are lacking.
We are equally proud of our 10-plus year relationship with Comic Relief in the U.K. As the official t-shirt retailer for the campaign, we have raised significant funds to support Comic Relief's efforts to bring about “real and lasting change by tackling the root causes of poverty and social injustice,” and award grants “to give people a leg up, not a hand out.” We invite you to visit the Cause Marketing and Fundraising section of our website to learn more about our initiatives at the brand level.
We also founded the Youth Business Institute (YBI) in 1999 to serve youth in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The idea was simple: provide basic skills and training for success in school and in the workplace. Today, YBI is an 11-week, innovative, personal and professional development program that operates in several under-performing high schools around the U.S. TJX Associates volunteer their personal time to teach high school students job readiness skills and expose them to career pathways relevant for entry into the retail workforce. The YBI program includes workshops on time management, budgeting, resume building and interview preparation. We also foster students' career exploration through job shadowing of TJX Associates. Since 2012, YBI has graduated more than 1,100 students. TJX awarded over $730,000 in scholarships to YBI students and hired nearly 600 program graduates into full- and part-time positions within the Company.
In Europe, we work with The Prince's Trust, an organization that supports teens and young adults who are unemployed, struggling at school or otherwise at risk of exclusion from many opportunities. The Trust's programs are designed to give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilize their lives and develop self-esteem and skills for work. We have developed a program with The Prince's Trust called Get Into Retail, which recruits young people from The Prince's Trust program and teaches them about career paths and working in retail as well as skills for interviewing and getting a job. Our program combines classroom-based training with a TJX store-based mentor, with the aim of offering successful participants a job in a T.K. Maxx store. After a successful pilot in London in 2012, we have expanded to 15 U.K. cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham. In 2015, 27 programs ran in the U.K., educating over 220 young people. We hired 68% of the program participants following course completion and expect to expand this program again next year.
Many of the community programs we support emphasize empowerment and self-sufficiency for people who may face barriers to employment, such as a lack of job skills. It's our hope that if the programs we support can help people get jobs, then families will be on the path to stronger financial footing. One of the many organizations we support in the U.S. is Women in Need, an organization that we have partnered with for the past 10 years. Women in Need helps homeless women and children in New York City improve their lives, using an approach that doesn't simply provide a hand out, but helps provide a way out. Women in Need's process starts with safe housing and includes vital programs so that women who are caught in the cycle of poverty can look forward to a brighter future. Women in Need focuses on education – developing and improving skills in computers, resume writing and interviewing – so participants can elevate their job potential.
For many of our programs, Associate volunteers contribute to our enrichment efforts. Associates at our corporate headquarters volunteer at events ranging from our one-day educational forum for high school students in the Girls Inc. program to weekly participation as Big Brothers/Big Sisters. These volunteer efforts are strengthened even more by donations from The TJX Foundation.
Sometimes we combine Associate volunteerism with what we refer to as our regional philanthropic targeting programs. These programs invite Associates in our stores, regional offices and distribution centers to identify and recommend organizations within their communities that they would like to support. An application for charitable grants through The TJX Foundation is made, and if selected, these grassroots efforts are supported. Regional targeting of charities makes our philanthropic efforts meaningful for both our Associates and customers and adds value in the communities where we live and work.