On April 17, AT&T announced the launch of AT&T Aspire, a four-year, $100 million program that will help strengthen student success and workforce readiness. The program is the largest education initiative in AT&T’s history and one of the largest corporate investments in high school success and workforce readiness.
“In the U.S., 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year,” said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. “AT&T Aspire is about supporting the great work already underway to help our kids succeed in school, and helping students see the connection between education and their best future.”
A key part of the initiative is a job shadowing program that will reach 100,000 students over the next five years. By pairing AT&T employees with students in grades nine through twelve, the program will allow students to see firsthand the kinds of skills that are necessary to succeed in the workforce.
The initiative will also provide grants to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on helping students graduate from high school and become better prepared for college and the workforce. It will also provide support for one hundred community dropout prevention summits that were announced earlier this month by America’s Promise. (More information on the summits is available here.) The initiative’s final component is a research effort that will focus on the perspectives of teachers and school administrators on the high school dropout crisis. It will also examine why students drop out and identify the barriers to keeping more students engaged and on track to graduate.
More information on the program is available here.