AT&T Awards $629,900 in Grants to Help High School Dropout Initiatives across the State
Program Is Part of Company's Commitment to Promote High School Success and Workforce Readiness
Charleston, West Virginia, September 23, 2008
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced it will award two High School Success grants that total $629,900 over four years to support high school retention programs in West Virginia.
The AT&T Foundation awarded $389,900 to The Education Alliance — Business and Community for Public Schools Inc., to fund its 'Walk the Talk' program which provides mentoring and academic intervention for at-risk students in Berkeley, Kanawha, Ohio and Raleigh counties. Jobs for West Virginia's Graduates is the recipient of a $240,000 grant to deliver mentoring, employability and life skills training to youth in Greenbrier and Logan counties, and to expand existing training programs in Charleston.
"If we expect West Virginia and our nation to compete for jobs in today's global economy, it's absolutely essential that we improve our high-school graduation rate and get all of our young people to thinking about their opportunities beyond graduation," said Governor Joe Manchin. "The support of these programs will help to ensure that more of our students get the diplomas and training they need to become a successful part of the 21st century workforce."
The West Virginia KIDS COUNT Fund has noted that approximately 17 percent, or 14,000 of West Virginia's 83,000 high school students drop out before graduation.
"We thank Governor Manchin for his focus on education and his initiatives to improve the quality of life in West Virginia," said J. Michael Schweder, President, AT&T Mid-Atlantic Region. "We are especially pleased to support two West Virginia organizations that are dedicated to promoting educational success. We look forward to working together to prepare the future workforce here in West Virginia."
AT&T's competitive High School Success grants are part of the company's signature initiative, AT&T Aspire, which was announced earlier this year and helps address high school success and workforce readiness.
"Jobs for West Virginia's Graduates is honored to receive this outstanding award from AT&T. The West Virginia program assists students where they need help and support the most. The real winners here are our state's high school students and that's what makes all of us who care about them so thrilled with AT&T's generous award." said Steve Roberts, Chairman of Jobs for West Virginia's Graduates and President of the WV Chamber of Commerce. "We look forward to working with AT&T to focus on high school retention and preparing West Virginia's young people to graduate and begin successful careers here in West Virginia."
Additionally, AT&T made a $500,000 contribution to the national office of Jobs for America's Graduates of which Jobs for West Virginia's Graduates is an affiliate. AT&T is joining key policymakers and education leaders for a thought leader symposium on Capitol Hill to discuss the achievement gap in education and employment outcomes for at-risk minority youth.
Dr. Hazel K. Palmer, President/CEO of The Education Alliance said, "We are very excited to partner with AT&T to encourage more high school students to stay in school and strengthen their opportunities for their futures."
AT&T has committed $100 million in philanthropy through 2011 to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on high school retention and better preparing students for college and the workforce.
For more information about the AT&T Aspire initiative, please visit www.att.com/education-news.
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About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.
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