Programs Will Serve About 29,000 Students in Communities Across U.S.  

DALLAS, Texas. June 15, 2016 — AT&T selected 18 non-profits to share in $10 million through the Aspire Connect to Success Competition.

Hundreds of organizations applied. It was a rigorous and competitive process. The awardees support and motivate underserved students to stay in school and prepare for their next step in life.

AT&T funds the competition through AT&T Aspire, our signature philanthropic initiative to help students thrive in school and beyond.

Today, about 1-in-5 students don’t graduate high school on time. There are persistent gaps for students of color, students with disabilities, English-language learners and low-income students.*

“A high school diploma is a ticket to future success for students and our country,” said Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president, AT&T Social Innovation and Philanthropy. “We work with the best-of-the-best organizations, ones that use proven interventions to support students throughout high school.”

We chose the 18 non-profits that will serve students in 14 states and Washington D.C. They have demonstrated their effectiveness in helping students graduate ready for college or career. They each use evidence-based approaches and can prove they make an impact for their students.

“We measure the non-profits’ impact. We know they’re moving the needle on high school graduation rates,” said Anderson.

Aspire Connect to Success funding recipients deliver a range of programs. Their focus includes integrated student supports, college or career preparation, and mentoring or peer-to-peer relationships.

For example, the YMCA of Greater New York will receive $250,000 to expand Y Scholars. The college access and success initiative provides services to underserved students in New York City.

Another awardee, Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Athens, Georgia will receive $1 million to place site coordinators in 3 high-poverty high schools. The coordinators will provide targeted and school wide interventions to increase graduation rates and improve student achievement.

Previous AT&T Aspire competitive funding recipients are making a difference.

While the results continue to grow, data from 2014 awardees show positive outcomes. Aspire students had higher attendance in grades 9-12. And they were more likely to graduate in grades 10-12, than their peers.      

During graduation season, we encourage people to share advice for this year’s graduates. We celebrate learners from all stages of life – from preschool, high school, college, an online training program or a professional certification.

Join hundreds of others by sharing advice on social media. Post on your Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook using #GradAdvice.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T 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.


*2016 Building a Grad Nation Report

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