AT&T contributed more than $315,000 to support education-related projects across Pennsylvania, including 15 contributions for regional and statewide programs as part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropy initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.
“When we invest in the education of our children, we are investing in the future of Pennsylvania,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid-Atlantic. “To stay competitive, we must have a strong and well-educated workforce in Pennsylvania. AT&T Aspire is one way to support community-based organizations that inspire our students and prepare them for success in school, on the job and in life.”
Many of the AT&T supported programs also focus on strengthening students’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, “so we can better prepare the next generation of the state’s business and technology leaders,” Schweder said.
He added that AT&T and its employees have a tradition of giving back to the communities where they live and work.
In addition to direct contributions, AT&T’s employees give their time and talent to help students make the connection between what they learn in school and the skills and experiences that are necessary in today’s workplace. Through the company’s Aspire Mentoring Academy program, students in Western, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania visited AT&T offices where employee volunteers help them discover their career passions and potential.
“When mentors connect to young people, both are changed for the better,” Schweder said. “More than 1 in 3 students at risk of not graduating from high school grow up without an adult mentor in their lives. AT&T Aspire seeks to improve that statistic by providing young people across Pennsylvania with mentoring by AT&T employees.”
This year’s events and contributions build on previous years’ activities. All told, from 2011-2014, AT&T and its employees and the AT&T Foundation contributed more than $5.2 million through giving programs in Pennsylvania.
The 2015 Aspire funding recipients were:
Chester County Futures Inc.: $10,000
The contribution supported the Passport to College program that provides academic support along with college preparation and career exploration activities to under-served, urban and rural high school students.
Communities In Schools Pennsylvania Inc. (Harrisburg): $15,000
The contribution supported the creation of a dropout prevention video campaign that highlights students’ perspectives on the importance of education.
Congreso de Latinos Unidos (Philadelphia): $30,000
The contribution supported a Job Readiness Training Program (JRT) that provides college- and career-readiness activities to high school students in Montgomery County.
Girl Develop It, Inc. (Philadelphia): $15,000
The contribution supported programming that helps women learn web and software skills so that they can pursue technology careers.
Junior Achievement of South Central PA: $10,000
The contribution supported the STEM Summit; a highly interactive program that uses business leaders to introduce STEM-related concepts and careers to high school students.
Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania: $10,000
The contribution supported the JA Titan program where underserved high school students manage their own virtual businesses and then participate in regional competitions.
Lehigh University for Governor’s School of Engineering & Technology: $25,000
The contribution supported an intensive summer residential program that introduces high school students to engineering and technology concepts through experiential learning activities and team research projects.
Miracle League of Northampton Township: $10,000
The contribution supported the Buddy Program where high school students develop their leadership skills and meet their service learning requirements by mentoring special needs peers.
PA Governor’s School for the Sciences Campaign Inc.: $25,000
The contribution supported an intensive summer residential program that introduces high school students to STEM concepts and careers while also allowing them to experience campus life.
Police Athletic League of Norristown : $10,000
The contribution supported a high school success program that provides underserved, urban high school students with tutoring, career exploration activities and college fairs.
Spanish American Civic Association (Lancaster): $15,000
The contribution supported a workforce readiness program that provides bilingual training and 1×1 career guidance so that low-income and underserved adults can find meaningful employment in high demand fields.
Strawberry Mansion Learning Center (Philadelphia): $15,000
The contribution supported an after-school, high school success program for under-served, African American students where local university students provide homework help, tutoring and college application assistance.
Tech Impact (Philadelphia): $15,000
The contribution supported the ITWorks program that helps under-served young adults gain job skills and earn technology certifications that will help them obtain employment in the tech field.
Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB Inc.): $50,000
The contribution supported the Learn and Earn Initiative that provides under-served high school students with hands-on work experiences and career exploration activities during the summer months.
University of Scranton: $10,000
The contribution supported University of Success; a comprehensive 4-year college preparation program for high schools students that includes a summer residential experience, mentoring and parent engagement activities.
Other education-related contributions in 2015 include:
ArtsQuest (Bethlehem): $10,000
The contribution supported the B-Smart After-School Enrichment Program.
Best of the Batch Foundation (Pittsburgh): $5,000
The contribution supported the Best of the Batch Foundation’s Reading & Computer Literacy Programs.
Cameron County Public Library: $1,000
The contribution supported a summer reading program.
Downingtown Community Education Foundation: $2,000
The contribution supported the student-led “STEMHacks”” Code-a-Thon event, which was designed to: excite students about a future in programming, raise awareness and interest in programming among high school girls by bringing in female leaders in the technology industry, increase student coding skills through training sessions led by technology professionals, and create a fun and competitive environment that challenge students to develop the most interesting apps.
Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council: $2,000
The contribution supported local programming in the Pittsburgh area.
Mazzoni Center (Philadelphia): $10,000
The contribution supported the organization’s 2015 Ally Safe Schools Project, which provides professional development training for teachers and staff to make schools safer and more welcoming for LGBTQ youth and those that are open supporters.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation (statewide): $20,000
To support the Pennsylvania’s State System Foundation, Inc. STEM Awards.
South Fayette Foundation for Excellence: $1,000
The contribution supported South Fayette’s Growing into Respected Ladies (G.I.R.L’s) Night Out program which provides a forum for young females to understand their potential across all sectors of life through a proven program of preparation, development and implementation of their self-advocacy journey into their adult world.
United Way of Erie County: $5,000
The contribution supported the organization’s educational programming in Erie county.