During a special event at an AT&T facility in Susquehanna Township, officials from AT&T announced a $15,000 contribution to Junior Achievement (JA) of South Central Pennsylvania to help under-served high school students prepare for the workforce by exploring STEM-related careers, running virtual businesses and engaging with local business owners.
The announcement was made during an Aspire Mentoring Academy program, during which 25 students from Harrisburg School District worked with AT&T employees to develop skills for their future success. Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney and Yesenia Rosado Bane, legislative director for Pennsylvania Senator Rob Teplitz, were on hand to kick off the event.
Working with AT&T mentors, the students learned skills such as decision-making, financial literacy basics, communications skills and career planning. Students also were encouraged to take the pledge not to text and drive in support of AT&T’s It Can Wait! campaign. La-Kita Gilmore, president, AT&T Pioneers Heart of Pennsylvania, collaborated with JA of South Central Pennsylvania to organize the event.
AT&T’s Aspire Mentoring Academy is the key community engagement program of AT&T’s $350 million investment in Aspire, focused on high school success leading to college and career readiness.
“I’m pleased that AT&T is taking an interest in the success of local students and I’m grateful for their investment in our youth,” said state Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/York). “It’s important that students are exposed to career fields and professionals to help them decide their path after high school graduation, and this event will certainly be a positive influence.”
Tom Russell, president, JA of South Central Pennsylvania, said programs like these help students make the connection between what they learn in school and the skills that are necessary in the work place.
“When caring adults take time out of their busy day to share new skills and knowledge, students are able to make connections between what they learn in school and what their future career may hold,” said Tom Russell, president, JA of South Central Pennsylvania. “We are very pleased to participate in Aspire Mentoring Academy, and we’re thrilled that AT&T also is providing financial support to help us expand our work with students from Harrisburg School District.”
“We are honored to work with wonderful educators and community leaders who dedicate their lives to shaping the next generation each and every day,” said David Kerr, regional vice president for AT&T in Pennsylvania. “Aspire Mentoring Academy gives AT&T employees a chance help students stay on track to graduate from high school and succeed in college, the workforce and beyond.”
Kerr added that Aspire Mentoring Academy is a part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s $350 million investment in education, which is among the most significant U.S. corporate educational initiatives. The program, which has impacted over one million students nationwide since its initial launch in 2008, drives innovation in education through proven programs that address the high school dropout crisis and taps into the power of personal connections involving many of AT&T’s approximately 240,000 employees.
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About Philanthropy from AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. In 2012, more than $131 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.