AT&TProgram Aims to Raise Graduation Rates, Help Students Explore Career Possibilities

Harrisburg high school students today received a first-hand look at career opportunities beyond high school, thanks to Junior Achievement of South Central Pennsylvania (JA) and AT&T’s Aspire Mentoring Academy. AT&T and JA teamed up to help students from Harrisburg High School to make the connection between school and the workplace.

This work-based career exploration program was held November 13 at AT&T’s corporate offices in Susquehanna Township, where students had the opportunity to learn about various careers within the company and in the telecommunications industry and practice workplace readiness skills with AT&T employees.

Aspire Mentoring Academy is AT&T’s nationwide mentoring program that aims to address the nation’s dropout crisis and broaden students’ awareness about career opportunities in their own communities. Through its Aspire Mentoring Academy, AT&T is helping to raise high school graduation rates by providing students one million hours of mentoring by AT&T employees through the end of 2016. The program focuses on students at risk of dropping out and helps connect what they’re learning in school with their future career options.

“Our collaboration with Junior Achievement provides students in the Harrisburg area with career exploration activities that help motivate them to stay in school and achieve meaningful careers,” said David Kerr, regional vice president for AT&T in Pennsylvania. “We have developed a strong relationship over the years with JA to provide these job shadowing and other opportunities in Harrisburg and nationwide.”

AT&T works with JA on other initiatives to help prepare the region’s students for college and career.

Earlier this year, Kerr said AT&T also contributed $10,000 to JA of South Central Pennsylvania’s for the annual STEM Summit, day-long programs held at high schools across Central Pennsylvania. During the nine, 30-minute sessions, students participate in experiments, competitions, and career panel presentations.

AT&T’s support these initiatives is part of the AT&T’s Aspire program, one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

“Now more than ever, students struggle with understanding the connection between their academic journey and their future. Bridging that gap is what Junior Achievement is about,” said Tom Russell, CEO, JA of South Central Pennsylvania. “We are grateful to companies like AT&T who are willing to work with high school students in helping inspire them to value their economic future through programs like our STEM Summit, REAL Life a financial literacy forum, and Job Shadow.”

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