Supporting Education: AT&T Aspire

Materiality Assessment Topic: Education; Giving & philanthropy | Global Reporting Initiative Indicators: EC8, SO1

Issue Summary

Currently, about one in five students does not graduate high school with his or her peers, and one in four African-American and nearly one in five Hispanic students still attend high schools where graduating is not the norm.1 Dropouts from the Class of 2010 alone will cost the nation more than $337 billion in lost wages over their lifetimes.

Our Position

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation support programs, projects and social investments that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs.

Education — and specifically, raising graduation rates — is the focus of our signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire. Investing in a well-educated workforce may be the single most important thing we can do to help the United States remain the leader in a digital, global economy. Education has been our priority for more than a century; through Aspire, we have committed to investing $350 million to education between 2008-2017. We are driven to help students succeed — in school, in the workforce and in life.


Data Highlights

2013 Key Performance Indicators
  • Amount contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs:

Priority

Arts & Culture

Civic & Community

Education

Health & Welfare

Total

Total

$7.8M

$19.4M

$64M

$38.9M

>$130M

  • Amount invested toward $250 million planned investment over five years (2012-2017) for AT&T Aspire: more than $94.6M
  • Number of mentoring hours toward the goal to provide students 1 million hours of mentoring by our employees through the end of 2016: 339,009
  • Amount of employee giving through Employee Giving Campaign: >$35M
2013 Goals
2013 Progress Toward Goals

Invest $250 million planned over five years to drive innovation in education, support effective local programs and create collective impact through collaboration with AT&T business units, national partners, employees and customers to ensure that more students who are at risk of dropping out graduate from high school prepared for college and career.

We’ve invested $94,688,889 since March 2012. Of that:

  • 66 percent went toward programs focused on local impact,
  • 15 percent went toward programs focused on social innovation,
  • 8 percent went toward programs focused on connecting people,
  • 11 percent went toward other efforts such as research and evaluation.

Program highlights include:

  • Teaming up with Georgia Tech and Udacity to offer the first fully accredited, massive Online Master of Science in Computer Science, supported by a $2 million contribution.
  • Supporting Communities In Schools (CIS) – the nation’s leading dropout prevention program according to Social Impact 100 – with $7 million to strengthen its network and expand to serve more students.
  • Committing $5 million to America’s Promise Alliance as the premier supporter of 100 Grad Nation community summits, starting in fall 2013 and lasting through 2016.

The newly launched Aspire Mentoring Academy will engage students who are at risk of dropping out of high school with 1 million hours of mentoring by AT&T employees through the end of 2016.

As of year-end 2013, students received 339,009 hours of mentoring by AT&T employees through Aspire Mentoring Academy, putting us on track to achieve our 2016 goal.

2014 Goals
  • Invest $250 million planned by 2017 to drive innovation in education, support effective local programs and create collective impact through collaboration with AT&T business units, national partners, employees and customers to ensure that more students who are at risk of dropping out graduate from high school prepared for college and career.
  • Additionally, as part of the White House ConnectED initiative, provide $100 million of free mobile broadband access to educational websites, applications and services, and professional development to help middle-school students and their teachers, over a three-year period through 2016.2
  • The Aspire Mentoring Academy will engage students who are at risk of dropping out of high school with 1 million hours of mentoring by AT&T employees through the end of 2016.

Our Action

With more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, AT&T Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

AT&T’s commitment and investment support the achievement of the Grad Nation movement’s national graduation rate goal of 90 percent by 2020. Progress is being made through the collective efforts of the Grad Nation campaign. Since 2002, the country as a whole has raised the graduation rate from 72.6 percent to 78.2 percent in 2010.3 For the first time as a nation, we are on track to meet the national goal.

In 2013, Aspire focused on:

Investing Locally in organizations making a measureable difference in stemming the high school dropout crisis:

  • Through the Aspire Local Impact request for proposal (RFP), 47 schools and nonprofits were selected from thousands nationwide to share in nearly $10 million from AT&T in 2012. These organizations are now in year two of the funded programs. Applicants were evaluated based on their alignment with evidenced-based approaches, 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.
  • AT&T has signed on to be the premier presenter of 100 Grad Nation community summits coordinated by America’s Promise Alliance, which launched in fall 2013 and will take place through 2016.
  • AT&T provided a $1 million contribution to Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) to maintain and expand programs for students in 18 states.
  • AT&T supported Communities In Schools (CIS) with a $2 million contribution to boost the impact and sustainability of the entire CIS network. This support includes building the corps of CIS Site Coordinators by extending AT&T support in 13 communities. 
  • AT&T contributed an additional $5 million to CIS to support local programs through the Diplomas NOW program, continued building our partnership with CIS in Aspire Mentoring Academy and developed a national framework for local affiliates to ensure quality in the delivery of their services through measurement.
  • Roadtrip Nation (RTN), an organization that creates innovative career exploration resources to help students explore pathways aligned with their interests, received $1 million in total from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation. With this new funding, RTN will extend its program offerings to 10,000 more students in six states.

Connecting People through our employees and customers:

  • Aspire Mentoring Academy provides opportunities for AT&T employees to help more students graduate from high school ready for college and their future career. Aspire Mentoring Academy offers employees flexible ways to mentor students across the country who are at risk of dropping out of high school. Employees can mentor while at work, in their community and online. AT&T has announced a goal of providing 1 million hours of mentoring by 2016 through the program.

Seeking Exponential Change through national partnerships and technology and innovation:

  • AT&T is collaborating with Georgia Tech and Udacity Inc. to offer an online Master of Science degree in computer science. The degree can be earned completely through the massive open online course (MOOC) format, and is supported by a $2 million AT&T contribution to Georgia Tech to fund the program.
  • We worked with the AT&T Foundry innovation centers — which offer an inventive business approach to bringing entrepreneurs’ market-disrupting technologies to life — to host Aspire hackathons in cities across the country.
  • AT&T teamed up with Genesys Works, a Houston-based nonprofit, to expand a proven program that gives high school seniors at risk of dropping out of school the opportunity to work and thrive in a corporate environment and succeed in college and careers.
  • GameDesk, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that aims to revolutionize learning, is teaming up with AT&T to launch its new online portal: educade.org. EduCade is a revolutionary educational web platform funded by AT&T that provides students, educators and parents nationwide free access to fun, high quality digital learning games and technologies to help improve student success.

Some of the organizations with which we work include:

  • Alliance for Excellent Education
  • America's Promise Alliance
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Civic Enterprises
  • Communities in Schools
  • Curriki
  • Data Quality Campaign
  • GameDesk
  • Genesys Works
  • Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Jobs for America’s Graduates
  • Junior Achievement USA
  • Roadtrip Nation

Through Aspire, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation will continue to work together with educators, parents, organizations and government to be a catalyst for change on the high school dropout crisis issue.

To learn more about our AT&T Aspire initiative, visit www.att.com/aspire.

ConnectED Commitment

In February 2014, AT&T announced a $100 million, three-year commitment to provide free mobile broadband access to educational websites, applications and services, and professional development to help middle school students and their teachers. AT&T’s mobile broadband service will enable students to use tablets and other mobile devices for educational purposes that support student learning in new and more effective ways. The commitment supports President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative, which has the goal of bringing broadband connectivity to 99 percent of American students within five years. The efforts are contingent on FCC e-rate compliance requirements, and federal, state, and municipal procurement frameworks that will not prohibit or extend these types of initiatives. Eligible school locations will be subject to network congestion, availability, and performance criteria.


1Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, America’s Promise Alliance, Building a Grad Nation Report Update 2013

2ConnectED efforts are contingent on FCC e-rate compliance requirements, and federal, state, and municipal procurement frameworks that will not prohibit or extend these types of initiatives. Eligible school locations will be subject to network congestion, availability, and performance criteria.

3Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, America’s Promise Alliance, Building a Grad Nation Report Update 2013

Updated on: Jun 25, 2014

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