Anita is a first generation American and a go-getting high school student who is growing up in a tough southern California neighborhood. Thanks to her perseverance and the impact of mentors in her life — including Dorothy, one of our employees — she is a straight A student with ambitions to be the first person in her family who attends college. Anita is determined not to be “just another statistic.”

Over the course of their year of service, the AmeriCorps VISTAs will reach more than 3,000 young people by working with approximately 150 programs across the country.

This week I’m joining others across the country who create and manage mentoring opportunities to change lives of young people like Anita. At the National Mentoring Summit, organized by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership in Washington, D.C., businesses, non-profits, elected officials and others come together to share best practices and learn from each other.

At the conference, we unveiled locations where we will work with MENTOR and the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) to deploy a team called the Aspire Mentoring Corps which builds upon the announcement we made last summer. The AmeriCorps VISTA members will be strategically placed to enhance local mentoring efforts for AT&T and encourage others in the private sector to become engaged. We are excited about getting to work with our collaborators in Topeka, Boston, Detroit, New York, Chicago and Seattle!

Over the course of their year of service, the AmeriCorps VISTAs will reach more than 3,000 young people by working with approximately 150 programs across the country.

The Aspire Mentoring Corps will support our Aspire Mentoring Academy program, in which we pair AT&T employees with students who need mentors. Employees work with students across the country to connect classroom learning to their futures. Thanks to our employees’ amazing dedication – mentoring more than 100,000 students, we are honored to receive the “Innovation in Corporate Mentoring” award this year from MENTOR and CNCS as part of the Corporate Mentoring Challenge.

We know our role is just one piece of the puzzle. It will take all of us – from non-profits to schools to the business community – to ensure every young person has a caring adult mentor supporting them. Together we can prepare students with the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. Please join us by visiting mentoring.org to find mentoring opportunities in your area.

About the Author

Carissa Cassin

Aspire Program Director, AT&T

Carissa_Cassin

Carissa Cassin is based in Dallas, TX.

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