DALLAS, September 07, 2023

AT&T Dream in Black Announces the 2023 Rising Future Makers Showcase, Empowering HBCUs and the Next Generation of Leaders

Applications are now open to HBCU students nationwide for the opportunity to join an esteemed program connecting them to opportunities with resources from AT&T.


Key Takeaways:

  • The 2023 Rising Future Makers Showcase is a contest open for submissions now through Nov. 6.
  • AT&T will select 25 HBCU students to receive support, including mentoring opportunities, $5,000, a year of AT&T service with a new device, and more.
  • For every 5 entries, we will donate a laptop to a local high school student in need— helping juniors and seniors reach their full potential and aid in future college endeavors.  

What is the AT&T Rising Future Makers Showcase?

AT&T Rising Future Makers is a program that honors a distinguished group of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) students who are actively influencing and giving back to their communities and campuses. Over the past 2 years, 50 HBCU students from 14 institutions nationwide have participated in the program. The application process is officially open for the upcoming cohort of students, offering them the chance to elevate their dreams with unmatched connections, networks, and opportunities that will drive their ambitions forward.

Creating an inclusive community for the next generation of leaders, the Rising Future Makers Showcase is a call for future-focused HBCU students to apply to become a part of the Rising Future Makers network, by exhibiting how they are making a difference. Through the Dream in Black platform, AT&T prioritizes amplifying historically underrepresented voices and equipping upcoming generations for success.

"Empowering these students isn't just about leveling the playing field," said Michelle Jordan, chief diversity officer, AT&T. "When we invest in their dreams and aspirations, we're nurturing the growth of our rising leaders and change-makers who will shape a future defined by innovation and boundless possibilities."

What do you win if selected?

The AT&T Rising Future Makers Showcase will culminate with a grand event at the AT&T Headquarters, where all 25 winners will come together to receive their prizes and participate in industry panels led by HBCU talent, professional development workshops, and much more.

Each of the 2023 Rising Future Maker winners will be awarded:

  • $5,000
  • A 5G-enabled Tablet with 1-year of complimentary AT&T service
  • A coveted Rising Future Maker letter jacket
  • Exclusive access to industry events, mentoring opportunities, and more

As an extension of the program, for every 5 Rising Future Maker applications submitted AT&T is donating a laptop device to local high school students. This is part of our ongoing mission to ensure everyone has an opportunity to benefit from using online resources to help close the digital divide, which disproportionally impacts communities of color.

How can HBCU students get involved?

Over the next couple of weeks, the AT&T Rising Future Makers Showcase will meet students where they are. From showcases to on-campus events and experiences, AT&T will engage with students in authentic ways and expose them to new possibilities during the Rising Future Makers Showcase entry period. Highlights include:

  • The Harlem’s Fashion Row HBCU Showcase, hosted this week during NYFW on September 5, is intended to transform the art and fashion programs at HBCUs across America by providing students with direct design expertise from industry experts. AT&T’s Rising Future Maker alumni from 2022, Jaivien Kendrick will be featured as one of the designers.
  • Later in the month, AT&T will have a session at the National HBCU Week Conference, where attendees can engage in panels and interactive exhibits, and separately announce the kickoff of the 2023 HBCU Innovation Challenge.
  • As a proud athletics sponsor of North Carolina A&T, Howard, and Florida A&M, AT&T will participate in Homecoming Week Celebrations at each school, interacting with students on-campus and engaging in activities such as the AT&T Dream Shop.
  •  In collaboration with One Solution, AT&T Dream in Black Presents the Futurist three-part series will pair rising HBCU students with established leaders in their respective fields to facilitate trailblazing conversations. The series will be distributed and promoted across the Urban One linear, digital and audio platforms (TV One, iOne Digital and Reach Media) from October 16 – December 31.

"Opportunities like these can be the difference between having a dream and making it a reality," said Kery Davis, Howard University Athletic Director. "We are proud to work with organizations like AT&T to bring our students more resources and pathways to reach their full potential."

“As a member of the Rising Future Makers alumni class, I represent a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for change and through the power of this transformative program, have been able to rewrite our narratives and dream bigger,” said Jaivien Kendrick, 2022 AT&T Rising Future Maker. “Being a part of the Harlem’s Fashion Row Showcase, during New York Fashion Week, has been a dream come true and I hope my fellow HBCU peers are equally inspired and empowered, driven to grasp hold of this remarkable opportunity and soar with it.”

"I’m thrilled to join hands with AT&T and the 2023 Rising Future Makers Showcase. This collaboration signifies the fusion of innovation and inspiration, where fashion and technology unite to empower the voices of tomorrow,” said Brandice Daniels, CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row. “Just as threads intertwine to create a masterpiece on the runway, diverse minds and experiences weave the tapestry of progress in our communities. With this showcase, we’re not only celebrating the boundless possibilities within our youth, but also amplifying their voices."

What’s the application process?

For the 2023 AT&T Rising Future Makers Showcase, students currently enrolled in an HBCU between the ages of 18 to 25 can submit their applications now through November 6 by highlighting how they are making substantial impacts on their campuses and communities.

This year, AT&T Dream in Black welcomes content creator and media specialist Blake Newby as the 2023 Rising Future Makers coach. Blake will support HBCU students looking to enter the contest by sharing tips on how to complete their entries and highlighting the impact of the Rising Future Makers program across a variety of channels.

“As a proud HBCU alumna, I am truly honored to serve as the 2023 AT&T Rising Future Makers Coach,” said Blake Newby, 2023 AT&T Rising Future Makers Coach. “This program holds immense promise for aspiring young leaders that empowers them to authentically showcase their vision and dreams, and I’m thrilled to be part of their journey.”

Submissions can be in the form of a short video or a written entry through the official Rising Future Makers Showcase website.


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