We believe that by supporting organizations that create positive opportunities for our young people, we can help them build a better future.
To do this, we focus 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. For more than 30 years, T.J. Maxx has been a sponsor of Save the Children U.S., a non-profit organization that provides programs to children in low-income, rural communities in America. Our support of Save the Children has contributed to the organization's ability to provide access to early education and literacy programs, among others, for thousands of children in areas where resources are lacking.
T.K. Maxx is equally proud of its 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." Also in Europe, T.K. Maxx in Poland began supporting the Academy of the Future in 2014, a program run by Stowarzyszenie Wiosna, a national children's education charity that provides one-on-one mentoring and educational support to over 1,800 disadvantaged children.
For many of our programs, Associate volunteers contribute to our outreach efforts. Associates at our TJX corporate headquarters volunteer at a variety of events, from our one-day educational forum for high school students in the Girls Inc. program to weekly participation as Big Brothers/Big Sisters. In Canada, we encourage our Associates to volunteer at Covenant House Toronto to provide services to at-risk youth. These volunteer efforts are often strengthened by donations from our Foundations.
In 1999, TJX founded the Youth Business Institute (YBI) to serve youth in the Boston, MA, area. The idea was simple: provide basic skills and training for success in school and in the workplace.
Today, YBI is an innovative 11-week professional development program that operates in several under-resourced 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, résumé building and interview preparation. The program also fosters students' career exploration and concludes with a graduation ceremony. Since 2012, YBI has graduated more than 1,400 students. TJX has awarded over $900,000 in scholarships to YBI students and hired nearly 750 program graduates into full- and part-time positions within the Company.
TJX Europe works 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. Since 2012, we have been actively involved in the Trust's Get Into Retail program, which offers disadvantaged young people the skills and training to enable them to succeed in a retail career. Participants in the program learn basic career skills, such as interviewing techniques and applying for a job, and benefit from combining classroom-based training with an in-store mentor, all with the goal of offering successful participants a job in a T.K. Maxx store. In 2016, 15 programs ran in the U.K., educating over 230 young people. We hired 68% of the program participants following course completion. In addition to our participation in Get Into Retail, in 2016, HomeSense became a contributor to The Prince's Trust Achieve program, a personal development course for 13- to 19-year-olds.