DALLAS, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In less than 4 years, AT&T* employees have provided 1 million hours of mentoring to students who need it the most. Announced in the fall of 2012, the objective was to impact the lives of students through 1 million hours of mentoring by the end of 2016. Employee mentors participate in the Aspire Mentoring Academy, a part of AT&T Aspire, the company's signature philanthropic initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.
"Helping students prepare for success in school and the workplace is essential to our nation's future," said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. "That's why I am so proud of the thousands of AT&T employees who continue to invest their time, knowledge and experience mentoring young people across the U.S."
As mentors, employees connect with students to help them discover their passions and potential. The experience has a positive impact on both the adults and students. When Valeria first met her mentor Angelina, she struggled with her confidence inside and outside of the classroom. During their year of mentoring, the pair spent 1 hour together each week discussing everything from school work to Valeria's dreams for the future. Watch here to see how their relationship changed both of their lives for the better.
AT&T employees are connected with best-in-class nonprofits that support students who will benefit the most from mentoring. Since the launch of the Aspire Mentoring Academy in the fall of 2012, more than 160,000 students in 336 cities have been mentored by AT&T employees. Mentors have worked with organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Communities In Schools, DECA, iCouldBe, Jobs for America's Graduates, Junior Achievement, the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, and We Teach Science.
A caring adult is a key factor in helping ensure a student graduates from high school, a primary focus of AT&T Aspire. One in 3 young people do not have a mentor growing up, according to recent research commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and supported by AT&T. The 1 million hour milestone is just the beginning of AT&T's efforts to close this gap. The next phase of Aspire Mentoring Academy will use the power of technology to reach even more students in more places around the world.
"A mentor is a critical asset in helping a young person achieve success and one that drives expanded support and opportunity. AT&T employees bring us closer to that goal with Aspire Mentoring Academy," said David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. "One million mentoring hours is a major accomplishment. It helps us close the mentoring gap and equip more young people with the skills and confidence they need to be successful. We are excited to work with AT&T to expand their reach to even more students by supporting employees and leveraging innovation and collaboration in the mentoring field."
AT&T is teaming up with innovative organizations, such as Nepris, iCouldBe and We Teach Science that use technology to provide mentorship opportunities. These organizations will help connect more students and mentors like Angelina and Valeria for whom in-person mentoring is not possible, ultimately ensuring that more employees can help inspire and unleash potential in students no matter where the students or employees are located.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T's signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we've passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.