College Now Mentoring Program Receives New Support from AT&T’s Believe Cleveland Initiative

AT&T Blog Team
April 27, 2021
Community Impact


College Now Mentoring Program Receives New Support from AT&T’s Believe Cleveland Initiative

The effort of College Now Greater Cleveland to connect local college students with volunteer adult mentors is receiving new support from AT&T’s Believe Cleveland℠ initiative. The contribution of more than $11,000 is helping advance the College Now Mentoring Program by deepening its virtual interactive curriculum that has been necessitated by the past year’s pandemic disruptions.

“Returning to college or enrolling for the first time, when our daily lives continue to be disrupted, is no small task,” said Cleveland City Council President and College Now board member Kevin Kelley. “The College Now Mentoring Program is helping Clevelanders stay on-track to reach their college and career goals despite the pandemic difficulties. By helping this program succeed, the AT&T ‘Believe Cleveland’ initiative helps increase employment opportunities and improve our community.”

AT&T Ohio presents a contribution of more than $11K to representatives of College Now Greater Cleveland and the AmeriCorps college guides who work with the organization. Shown L to R: Haley Spangler and Nick Nagel, AmeriCorps; Tony Costanzo, AT&T Ohio; Ceena Jewell, David Burke, and Kittie Warshawsky, College Now Greater Cleveland.

Believe Cleveland began in 2019, to help Cleveland residents improve job prospects and career pathways with a focus on digital literacy and technology-based learning. The digital connections made by the College Now Mentoring Program provide help for students, allowing their college and career exploration and access to continue, even amid a public health crisis.

“Many of College Now’s students are the first in their families to attend college, and all have demonstrated financial need,” said College Now CEO Lee Friedman. “The pandemic provided additional hurdles for them to navigate. This contribution from AT&T’s ‘Believe Cleveland’ program helps us connect those students with one-on-one mentors who are actively involved to keep students on their postsecondary education pathway.”

The College Now Mentoring Program is designed to create bonds and relationships between mentors and students who may not realize what support they will need as they explore and attend college. For most students, especially first-generation college students, postsecondary education can be daunting. Students don’t always know what to expect, how to address certain situations or problems, or how to adapt to life on campus. Mentors can provide the insight these students may not always receive from family members or friends who have not been through the college-going process.

“Collaborating with College Now Greater Cleveland as they have integrated more virtual connections in their Mentoring Program is a great example of empowering people through connectivity.”

Tony CostanzoExternal Affairs Director, AT&T Ohio

“Collaborating with College Now Greater Cleveland as they have integrated more virtual connections in their Mentoring Program is a great example of empowering people through connectivity,” said AT&T Ohio Director of External Affairs Tony Costanzo. “Their work is a great fit with our ‘Believe Cleveland’ efforts.”

Believe Cleveland is an extension of AT&T Believes, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities. To learn more about AT&T Believes initiatives across the country, please click here.