Product, Service & Design Innovation
AT&T Commits $18 Million to Youth Mentoring Programs

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson joined President Obama today to commit $18 million to education programs with a youth mentoring component. This funding supports the company’s goal of providing youth across the country one million hours of mentoring by AT&T employees through the end of 2016.

“Research shows that the presence of a mentor in a young person’s life significantly improves their potential for success. That’s why thousands of AT&T employees volunteer to mentor students across the country,” Stephenson said. “I am proud to be a part of this initiative with the president.”

At today’s event, the White House released a new report from the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which reinforces previous research and calls to action found in the Building a Grad Nation Report and Mentoring Effect Report, both released earlier this year and supported by AT&T. The research makes clear that the presence of caring adults is essential to helping young people succeed in academics, life decisions and careers.

For the 2014-2015 school year, AT&T Aspire — a $350 million commitment focused on high school success and workforce readiness for students at risk of dropping out of school — will expand employee mentoring efforts through the Aspire Mentoring Academy. These employees work with underserved middle- and high-school students to provide academic tutoring, expose students to a variety of career paths and connect the importance of learning in the classroom to their future. Today, employees are more than half-way to meeting the 1 million hour mentoring goal set in 2012.

As part of today’s announcement, AT&T says it will also launch a new public-private partnership with AmeriCorps and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to provide mentoring to thousands of young people at risk of dropping out of high school.

In addition to AT&T’s collaboration with AmeriCorps and MENTOR, Aspire will reach more students and provide experiences tailored to the unique needs of each local community through programs that include:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America will work with AT&T employees at Club locations across the country in after-school mentoring activities and at AT&T locations during the summer break.
  • Communities in Schools will expand work with AT&T to connect employees with opportunities to mentor students in cities across the country — both at AT&T offices and in schools.
  • AT&T will announce this fall the winners of a national Aspire funding competition that focuses on high school success and college- and career-readiness programs. The recipients will implement verifiable, evidenced-based high school dropout prevention initiatives with the presence of a mentor as part of a comprehensive program that addresses student needs.

Throughout many of the programs, AT&T says technology will be incorporated into the mentoring opportunities through online tools, teaching the development of mobile apps, and by providing students with IT certification opportunities and STEM skills development.

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