As access to skilled workers becomes increasingly vital to the U.S. economy, communications company AT&T is launching a quarter-billion-dollar campaign to help more students graduate from high school ready for careers and college, and to ensure the country is better prepared to meet global competition. It was announced today, March 19.
AT&T Aspire, already among the most significant U.S. corporate educational initiatives with more than $100 million invested since 2008, will tackle high school success and college/career readiness for students at-risk of dropping out of high school through a much larger, “socially innovative” approach.
Social innovation goes beyond traditional philanthropy – which typically involves only charitable giving – to also engage people and technology to bring different approaches, new solutions and added resources to challenging social problems, believes AT&T.
The greatly expanded effort centers on a new, $250 million financial commitment planned over 5 years. AT&T Aspire will build on that commitment by using technology to connect with students in new and more effective ways, such as with interactive gamification, Web-based content and social media.
The company will also tap the innovation engine of the AT&T Foundry to look for fresh or atypical approaches to educational obstacles. Finally, AT&T Aspire will capitalize on the power of personal connections in the form of mentoring, internships and other voluntary efforts that involve many of AT&T’s approximately 260,000 employees.
The Aspire effort already has impacted more than one million U.S. high school students, helping them prepare for success in the workplace and college, says the company.
Photo courtesy: AT&T