NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans connects local students and their families to critical community resources tailored to local needs. For 400 students at Carver Prep, Carver Collegiate, and Sci Academy, the upcoming school year will mean working one-on-one with an advisor focused on helping these students complete school and prep for their futures.
Because of its solid record of proven results in both decreasing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates, Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans has been named as one of 47 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $10 million from AT&T. With more than one million students impacted since its launch in 2008, the AT&T Aspire program is one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program earlier this year, bringing the total commitment to $350 million. Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans will receive $300,000 as part of this effort.
"Education must continue to be a top priority for New Orleans and the surrounding area," said Lambert Boissiere, III, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner. "I am proud to support efforts that focus on educating the youth in our state so that they will have success in high school which will lead to college and career readiness."
Educators In Schools and non-profits across the country have a unique understanding of the challenges students face in their communities. Through a competitive process, 47 schools and non-profits, including Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, were selected from thousands of applicants nationwide.
"It is an honor to support Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans and the work they are doing to help stem the high school dropout crisis in our country," said Sonia Perez, president, AT&T Louisiana. "By educating today's youth and helping them prepare for the future, we can ensure the future workforce of our company and our country will be stocked with qualified employees who have the 21st century skills that American businesses need to remain competitive in the digital, global economy."
Applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in serving students at risk of dropping out of high school and their ability to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. After a rigorous and competitive process, Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans was identified as making a real difference in the community by supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for the next step in life.
"Our responsibility to students is to augment schools efforts to educate young people by being accountable for 'figuring out' what the obstacles are in the lives of students that hinder their success in school, then find and connect every community resource, local and national, to help those young people overcome those barriers to success," said Sara Massey, President of Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans. "Increasingly, students depend upon the school to provide for basic needs. We are the only dropout prevention organization proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates. The school leaders at Collegiate Academies recognize the needs their students have and desired to add Communities In Schools' support to their staffs' efforts. We are grateful that AT&T's investment and confidence in Communities In Schools will enable us to leverage our local success for the benefit of the students at Collegiate Academies' schools."
This $300,000 will be used to support the expansion of Communities in Schools' Integrated Students Services to these three schools in New Orleans operated by Collegiate Academies providing 400 low-income, predominantly African-American, at-risk students a comprehensive scope of services to help them complete school and prepare for advanced educational opportunities and/or the workforce.
"My school work has improved, and ever since I got in the program, I have had a positive mind. I take school much more seriously, and I even get along better with my mom. CIS helps you with different stuff and not just school," said a student who worked with a CIS Program Manager last year.
Another student added, "CIS helps me feel safe so I can talk about my problems. I can't focus in school when there is so much messiness going on around me. My CIS mentor has helped me figure out how to cope, so I am doing better in school."
To learn more about all of the organizations that were selected, please visit Att.com/local-impact.
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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, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2011, more than $115 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
About Communities In Schools Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through a school-based site coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs. Working in nearly 3,000 schools, in the most challenged communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves more than 1.3 million young people and their families every year. It has been shown through an independent evaluation to be the nation's only dropout prevention organization proven to both increase graduation rates and reduce dropout rates. Visit our website at www.communitiesinschools.org and www.CISNewOrleans.org.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.