What’s the news?
AT&T* Dream in Black is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Rising Future Makers Showcase, a dynamic initiative recognizing and supporting students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) making an impact in their communities and on their campuses. This annual program empowers the next generation of innovators, while fostering diversity and inclusion in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
The Rising Future Makers Showcase reflects AT&T’s long time support of HBCUs, continued commitment to empowering diverse communities and dedicating resources that foster economic growth while helping bridge the digital divide, which disproportionately impacts communities of color. With each class, AT&T Dream In Black provides access to technology and resources, connecting students to their greater possibilities.
After a rigorous selection process, the 2023 Rising Future Makers Showcase presents HBCU students from diverse backgrounds, demonstrating creativity, technical prowess, and a commitment to leave a legacy of impact on society. The 2023 class hails from 15 colleges and universities and aspire to become leaders in their fields.
Who is the AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers Class of 2023?
- Bowie State University: Aa’Khai Hollis
- Claflin University: Anaiya Whaley
- Delaware State University: Elijah Brown
- Edward Waters University: Faith Ajumobi, Adeleye Mesogboriwon
- Florida A&M University: Ashley Bigbee
- Grambling State University: Jordan Braithwaite, Jaylie White, Charlene Vamado
- Hampton University: Oluade Swan, Lillian Carr
- Howard University: Asia Alexander, Jahmere Stanford Hargraves, Marcus McIntrye, Alana I. Smith, Ka’Nedria Boldin, Harmony Bailey
- North Carolina A&T State University: Haley Pender, Marcus Scott
- North Carolina Central University: Jessella Gaymon
- Prairie View A&M University: Rejoice Adekoya
- South Carolina State University: Bailey Scott
- Spelman College: Kamina Griffin
- Stillman College: Ekhorose Aghahowa
- Xavier University of Louisiana: Christian Davis
How is AT&T supporting these students?
Each student will each receive $5,000 presented by AT&T 5G, a 5G-enabled tablet with one year of AT&T service, among other gifts. They will also gain access to professional workshop opportunities, including mentoring sessions with AT&T executives aimed at growing their network and furthering their professional development.
The AT&T Rising Future Makers Showcase will culminate with a winner’s event at the AT&T Headquarters in Dallas, Texas, where the 25 students will be officially welcomed into the AT&T Dream In Black family to kick off their journey as a Rising Future Maker. Additionally, AT&T will host an intimate panel discussion with notable AT&T executives and Rising Future Maker Coach, Blake Newby, to discuss the importance of creating culturally engaging platforms that help amplify and inspire the next generation of Black professionals.
As part of this year’s AT&T Rising Future Makers Showcase – AT&T is also implementing a device drive, benefitting Atlanta-based high school students. For every 5 Rising Future Maker Showcase applications, AT&T promised to donate a device to a high school student in need, ensuring that seniors and juniors have a device of their own to support their future. This year’s Rising Future Makers Showcase saw a 143% increase in applications, resulting in AT&T distributing 200 laptops to high school students in need, reinforcing its commitment to help bridge the digital divide and remove barriers to affordability, access, and adoption of tech.
What are people saying?
"This campaign stands as a powerful embodiment of our unwavering commitment to connecting communities of color to greater possibility, through AT&T’s purpose-filled sponsorships,” said Sabina Ahmed, Assistant Vice President of Sponsorships & Experiential at AT&T. “With Dream In Black and the Rising Future Makers Showcase, we remain dedicated to ensuring that HBCU students aren't merely heard but are resoundingly celebrated and provided with the tools and resources to foster growth and innovation.”
"We are inspired by the overwhelming response to the Rising Future Makers Showcase,” said Michelle Jordan, Chief Diversity Officer. “There is immense hunger for knowledge and opportunity among our youth, and we are humbled by the opportunity to empower the next generation with the support they need to reach their dreams.”
To learn more, visit AT&T Dream in Black.